Secretary of State James Baker met with Finnish leaders and prepared Tuesday for his first visit to the Kremlin, during which he will unveil the Bush administration's revised policy toward the Soviet Union.
Baker is scheduled to fly to Moscow early Wednesday for a meeting with his Soviet counterpart, Eduard Shavardndaze. They have met briefly once before, in Vienna, Austria.Tuesday, Baker spent the day in Helsinki meeting with his staff in advance of the Moscow visit and paying courtesy calls on Finnish President Mauno Koivisto and Prime Minister Harri Holkeri.
Baker's first trip to Moscow as secretary of state coincides with a four-month review of U.S.-Soviet relations. President Bush is scheduled to give the broad outlines of that policy review in a speech Friday at Texas A&M University and Baker is expected to unveil the policy to the Kremlin.
Baker and other U.S. officials travelling with him have described the results of the policy review to reporters. It will include the regular sessions with the Soviets, including summits, on arms control and human rights, but move beyond the previous contacts in giving more attenion to regional matters, such as the Middle East, and global issues such as the environment and terrorism.
As a symbol of that new emphasis, Baker and Shevaradnadze will sign a treaty Thursday in Moscow in which the two countries will cooperate to clean up the Bering Sea.