Diplomacy Muted Visit

France plays skeptical host to Mikhail Gorbachev

What was Gorbylove in West Germany was more a case of Gorbylike in France. Ever the skeptics, Parisians welcomed the Soviet leader for the second time in four years but failed to shower him with the kind of ecstatic hero worship he received a month ago in Bonn. During a curiously muted three-day visit, French commentators noted, Mikhail Gorbachev disappointed "a lot of people who were just waiting to become admirers."

In fact, opinion polls showed that while 66% of the French approved of Gorbachev, a little more than half believed he would not survive long in office. Gorbachev dismissed any...

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