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Text of Soviet President’s Address to Business Leaders With PM-Gorbachev, Bjt

June 5, 1990

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Here are excerpts from Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s address to West Coast business leaders Monday:

I would like to point out that this summit meeting with President Bush has placed our relations on a new level and I believe this is the deepest result of the summit. I think this is consistent with the wishes of the Soviet and American people. ... and with the wishes of the entire world community. ...

Without any regret we are saying farewell to the Cold War and I think and hope that we have entered a long period of peace. ...

Over these days, in Washington, yesterday in the state of Minnesota and today in San Francisco and at Stanford, I’ve been able to say quite a few things that I wanted to say to the American people. It is difficult to avoid repeating myself but in such situations ... in a way repetition results in understanding the logic of things and therefore I would like to emphasize once again our interests here and I believe that is also consistent with the interests of the American people.

Also speaking of universal values and also the values of Islam, don’t be surprised there is one very interesting proverb in the Islamic tradition which says, ″Repetition does not spoil the prayer.″ ...

Of course, I cannot say we can be pleased as to the state of our economic relations and the scale of our economic relations. I currently foresee greater activity in this area. ...

I’ve been advocating for many years greater economic dependence of the Soviet Union on the United States and of the United States on the Soviet Union. ... It is very difficult to expect that the dynamism that we see now for our relations maintains its momentum and gains greater impetus. I think without progress and economic cooperation this would be simply impossible. ...

Now we stand on the threshold of what’s called change in the history of our country for many years. We will be moving toward a new format of new economic life. We will be basing our economy on market principles. We will be creating the infrastructure that will open up the road to market relations. ...

We have to decide now in our country about what kind of Soviet Union we’re going to have in the years to come. The combination of political reform, of our innovations, the new distributions of functions between legislative and executive political power and party, a combination of all the other changes under way within the overall process of implementing glasnost, places our society on a whole new level. ...

I believe that since the Soviet Union is moving around the path of democratization, decentralization, glasnost, greater freedom in whole areas ... I believe that a Soviet Union of this kind is what all of you need. ...

We are now watching those who maybe are risking something but who are willing to cooperate and watching those who are standing on the sidelines thinking that those who cooperate with us now will in the future ... obtain ... more full cooperation in our market. ...

We are already entering a world of greater trust and greater mutual understanding and interaction. We now have the trade agreement. Of course, that will not be of much practicality right now for the period of transition. In addressing most difficulties in our economy this is not of great practical significance. But it is of great political importance, which I have to think is no less meaningful. ...

American business should now look for ways to enter our market, look for ways to find new forms of cooperation so that once the agreement is ratified they will be able to use all the potential inherent in that agreement. ...

I think the essence of what is happening here with economic cooperation between our governments is that we are laying the foundations of stable, depoliticized and mutual beneficial co-development. ...

We are moving also toward convertibility of the ruble. We used to think that this was rather for the distant future, but we now think that since we are trying to integrate into the world market and become an organic part of the world economy we will have to achieve convertibility of the ruble in a shorter period of time. ...

The (Soviet) Far East today has tremendous potential. It has about one- third of the reserves of important natural resources. ... However, industry there is not well-developed, accounting for only about 3 percent of the country’s industrial output. We want to enhance the potential of the Soviet Far East and to do so would be of great value. ...

We could probably consider joint scientific exploration (space) missions. I decided to speak of this exactly here because I know that California is active in space projects. So I think this is a promising area for cooperation between us. ...

You might be worried perhaps generally by the prospects of transition into a market economy. You’re asking, you’re wondering, could involvement with the Soviet Union become a trap, could you lose money as a result. First of all you must be reminded that I am a person who does not like adventures. I’m in favor of change, but ... I have always battled all adventurers who like to propose change. Some people would like to propose adventuristic approaches. I think risk is good in politics and business, but adventurism is bad both in politics and in business.

The current Soviet leadership is in favor of profound changes but still it fully intends to do that in the careful way. I very much hope we will find agreement with our people on all that we are doing. We will continue to move along the path that we have chosen because other people understand that this is the path on which we must move forward. ...

You see some unpleasant things. You see some debate. You see there are some opponents of this change of direction. That is true and it’s unavoidable. Of course, you can debate whether it is better to go to Camp David using a helicopter or taking a car. It depends on what you want. On whether you want to see the woods from the helicopter or the car but that’s not a matter for much debate. But when you are changing or replacing one model of the economy with another model of an economy you have to do it very carefully. And what’s happening shows we are changing in a serious way and not just sweeping the yards, as you say. ...

I want to engage in an open honest and serious discussion and I certainly don’t want to, as they say in Italy, put spaghetti on your head. ...

Some people think that we have been changing course all the time. ... No we are not changing our course. We are on course. We’re on track and our overall idea is quite clear. We looked at our society several years ago and we decided that things could not go on like this, that our society, country has to become more dynamic and needs oxygen, fresh air. ...

The important thing now is just to give people a free hand and let them be creative on the basis of new economic realities to reveal their potential with their initiative, and we see that people can do a great deal. ...

We have become closer to the rest of the world. People understand us better and appreciate us better, including the Americans and I think that’s very important. The guarantee of our success is the powerful process of democratizing our society. We cannot turn back. And although the path that we’ve chosen is difficult, it is interesting and is open. And I think it is a very promising road.

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