+ Meeting with the President of the Soviet Union and the General Secretary of the Communist Party, Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev
These are scenario and event notes for Mulroney’s meeting with President Gorbachev. A record of parts of their conversation is available through the Wilson Centre’s Digital Archive.
Outside the bounds of formal bilateral agreements, Mulroney was advised to raise foreign policy issues like revolutionary developments in Poland, Hungary, and the German Democratic Republic, questions about the future of the Warsaw Pact, and the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Raoul Wallenberg was named Canada’s “only honorary citizen,” so Canadian officials sought clarity about his fate. Canadians appreciated Soviet efforts “to reduce the element of superpower rivalry,” and felt Gorbachev could press Soviet allies like Syria, Vietnam, the PLO, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Cuba to join international political dialogue. The Asia-Pacific region was cited as evidence of neoliberal faith that “economic dynamism follows the path of market economies and political liberalization” (ASEAN and South Korea), while “countries stuck in the economic past or dependent upon military power” (Vietnam, India, North Korea) were “falling steadily behind.”
Canadian officials were “profoundly respect[ful]” of Gorbachev’s efforts to reckon with “past errors and tragedies.” Despite misgivings about the efficacy of perestroika, Canada’s leaders wanted his program of political and economic reforms to succeed. Hopes for the future were codified in a joint Political Declaration signed by Mulroney and Gorbachev in the Great Kremlin Palace.