EAST-WEST: Taking the Measure of Helsinki

Amid glowing pledges to promote ''better relations among nations," 35 heads of government* gathered in the capital of Finland one year ago this week to sign a document that a small army of negotiators had taken two years to prepare. Today the vaunted Helsinki agreement remains what it was from the start: more ceremony than substance. There has been so little improvement in East-West relations that can be credited to the accord that the spirit of Helsinki has become increasingly dispirited.

The anniversary is being observed enthusiastically enough in the Soviet Union,...

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