British Prime Minister John Major and President Mikhail Gorbachev met Tuesday to discuss postwar scenarios in the Persian Gulf and Western concerns about lack of progress in arms control and negotiations with the breakaway Baltic states.
Major, who arrived in Moscow late Monday night, began his day Tuesday with breakfast at the British Embassy with the official Moscow representatives of the three Baltic republics."He learned a great deal," a British diplomatic source said of the meeting with Lithuanian envoy Agidius Bichkauskas, Latvia's Janis Peters and Estonia's Yuri Kahn.
Gorbachev spokesman Vitaly Ignatenko said the Kremlin had no objection to Major beginning a day of official meetings with representatives of the rebellious republics.
"He may do as he pleases; he may meet not only the Baltic representatives but whomever he wants," Ignatenko said. "I believe it is quite normal."
Ignatenko said Major talked with Gorbachev for 90 minutes, including a luncheon at the Kremlin. He said discussions of the Baltics and other aspects of the situation inside the Soviet Union took up about a third of their time together.
Major was also to meet with his counterpart, Premier Valentin Pavlov, and Defense Minister Dmitri Yazov, before leaving Moscow Tuesday night at the end of the 24-hour visit.
The visit was the British prime minister's first meeting with the Soviet leader since taking over nearly 100 days ago from Margaret Thatcher, who enjoyed a close relationship with Gorbachev.
The Major-Gorbachev meeting was designed to acquaint the two leaders and allow them direct discussions on the Middle East.