chapter  6
17 Pages

Soviet Public Diplomacy Toward West Germany, 1985-1989

WithRobbin F. Laird

This chapter examines the Soviet approach toward the Federal Republic of Germany under Gorbachev, especially Soviet public diplomacy from 1985 through the Gorbachev visit to Bonn in the summer of 1989. It focuses on interviews of key German officials and observations of Soviet behavior in the Federal Republic in the period during several visits from 1985-1989. Gorbachev's approach toward the Federal Republic was designed to deal with the most troubling trends in West German security policy. Valentin Falin remained an important player as well and used his position as the head of Novosti to try to help promote Soviet public diplomacy in West Germany. The Soviets fostered a dialogue with mainstream groups by openly discussing issues and demonstrating a publicly self-critical attitude. The Soviets attempted to use various commissions with the West Germans as fora to convince West German businessmen of the seriousness of change on the Soviet side.