East-West A Toast - or Roast - for Reform?

Kohl's visit revives the debate over embracing perestroika

The ice has been broken." So allowed an impassive Mikhail Gorbachev as he stood beside a wooden-faced Helmut Kohl amid the czarist splendor of the Kremlin's St. George Hall. The Soviet leader's chilly assessment of his first private meeting with the West German Chancellor brought little warmth to the thaw in relations between the Soviet Union and West Germany. But that hardly mattered in the cold calculation of national interests that dominated four days of careful, even curt talks between Europe's two pre-eminent powers. Gorbachev's impoverished military superpower is keen to profit from Western investment and trade. And West Germany has...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!