MOSCOW — Raisa Gorbachev said Monday that Americans are so anxious for her and her husband, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, to visit them during their trip to the United States next month that some are sending house keys with their invitations.
"Every day we get an enormous amount of letters from the Americans," Mrs. Gorbachev said at the opening of an exhibition in Moscow of 19th- and early 20th-Century American paintings. "People of all ages, of all walks of life write to us."
In a brief question-and-answer session, she told ABC News: "Many Americans ask us to visit their towns, cities and states, their farms, their homes. Some of them even send their keys to their houses in the envelopes."
But Mrs. Gorbachev, who plans to travel to the United States with her husband for his Dec. 7 summit meeting with President Reagan, indicated they will not be able to leave Washington.
Asked if other cities would be added to the itinerary, the wife of the Communist Party chief replied that it is "difficult to say" because the schedule is being completed now.
"Of course, I would like to," she added. "Let's hope there will be other visits.
"I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to all those people for their friendliness, for the spirit of good will," Mrs. Gorbachev said of the letters her family has received from Americans.
"We, of course, are very interested in meeting America and the Americans. But our main hope, our common hope together with you, is that as a result of this summit meeting our world will become a safer place to live.
"Only yesterday we got a letter from Boston, from a teacher," she continued. "He expresses in that letter his profound satisfaction that at last we have started together to take out the bricks from the wall of terror. And he hopes that we would be able to construct out of those bricks a monument of peace."