Mikhail S. Gorbachev, transformed from Eastern Europe's liberator to a leader in desperate search of rich benefactors, wrapped up his visit to Germany on Saturday with no clear reply to his pleas.
Thousands of Germans cheered the Kremlin chief as he toured German wine country with Chancellor Helmut Kohl. They gave him lavish thanks for letting the Berlin Wall fall and Germany unite.At one point on the tour, Kohl pledged that Germany would help Gorbachev's troubled nation as it tries to avoid economic collapse.
But Kohl gave no specifics, and there did not appear to be a change in German caution about increasing the financial assistance already promised.
"We wish you success in your reform policies," Kohl said in remarks outside his home in the town of Oggersheim near the end of Gorbachev's visit. "We will help within the framework of our abilities."
Gorbachev in turn thanked Kohl and mentioned the "long and difficult" road both countries had traveled to reach their current state of increasingly warm relations.
Earlier, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the German foreign minister, said Germany must help the Soviet Union but that aiding Moscow is not solely a German responsibility.
Gorbachev returned to Moscow late Saturday. At home, he faces ominous problems, including huge losses in popularity, but thousands of Germans gave him a hero's welcome as he wrapped up a two-day visit.
"Thank you, Gorby," read one placard in the cathedral town of Speyer, which Gorbachev and Kohl visited.
Another man held up a sign written in Russian saying, "We wish you happiness, Mikhail." Still another read, "Good luck, Gorby."
Former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, like Gorbachev a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, canceled a meeting with the Soviet leader, saying he was too tired after a hostage-freeing trip to Baghdad.