As Prime Minister, Gorbachev also tried to establish better relations with the United States. In November, 1985, he met with President Reagan in Geneva to talk about national and international issues. Gorbachev once said “America must be the teacher of democracy, not the advertiser of the consumer society. It is unrealistic for the rest of the world to reach the American living standard”. The clearest signs of improvement with the U.S and Soviet Union relations came in 1988 when Gorbachev made a positive impression with a crowd of spectators in New York City where he shook hands with people.
Gorbachev promoted great political changes. On of the most important measures came in 1989 when he set up elections in which members of the Communist Party had to run against non-communist party members. Later that same year, he called to terminate special status of the Communist Party guaranteed by the Soviet Constitution. Gorbachev also ended the Soviet military occupation of Afghanistan.