WASHINGTON — The Soviet Union is buying 15,000 metric tons of wheat flour at subsidized prices, the first time it has purchased anything other than U.S. wheat at a discount, the Agriculture Department said Tuesday.
Meantime, a senior aide to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl flew to Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the logistics of distributing German food donations to help the Soviet Union.
Kohl and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev discussed the question of emergency food donations this month when the Soviet leader visited Germany, and the German chancellor has taken up the issue as part of his campaign leading to Dec. 2 elections.
Also, Japan hinted Tuesday that it would provide medical aid to the Soviet Union but said Moscow had not asked for food supplies, despite worsening shortages.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Taizo Watanabe told a news briefing that there were sentiments in the government that aid should be provided to the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Former Foreign Minister Hiroshi Mitsuzuka told a seminar on Soviet-Japanese relations Monday that the government had decided to give $20 million in medical equipment and money to the Chernobyl victims.