Soviet Union Joining Forces In Reform

In Reform For once, leading rivals back a common economic program

"A worn-out old phonograph record" whose potential as a political leader is "not great," snapped Mikhail Gorbachev. An "indecisive . . . master of half measures," countered Boris Yeltsin. That was the kind of gibe the Soviet Union's two leading politicos had been exchanging in three years of unabated rivalry. Last week they decided to cooperate: Gorbachev and Yeltsin agreed to set up a commission to frame a relatively radical plan for introducing a market economy. Said Nikolai Petrakov, a Gorbachev adviser and member of the 13-man panel: "This is the most important information of 1990."

While details of the agreement...