§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his latest assessment of the effect upon Anglo-Soviet relations of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' policies of glasnost and perestroika; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
Bilateral relations have greatly improved since Mr. Gorbachev assumed power in the Soviet Union. A more pragmatic Soviet approach to contentious issues such as Afghanistan and human rights, and greater Soviet willingness to facilitate exchanges of people and ideas, have contributed to this improvement. We have combined readiness to make use of these new opportunities with a realistic view of what has not changed, including Soviet military capabilities and the need for secure defence. This consistent approach has earned respect and brought results.