Following are excerpts from the NBC News Special "A Conversation with Mikhail S. Gorbachev," an interview conducted by NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw. The English translation comes from a transcript provided by the network.

I would like . . . first of all to say a few words of sincere greetings to all the television viewers who are watching, listening to us, and to all the American people.

I would like to address them with words of sincere greetings from the Soviet people. Before responding directly to your question, let me say that this year already I have received about 80,000 letters from Americans. . . .

And, you know, many of the thoughts of those letters are similar. They revolve around several simple and yet very important questions and problems which obviously are of concern to the American people.

Now, in those letters, I read about what -- that they're worried about the situation in the world; that there's a lot of tension, a lot of alarm that regional conflicts are still ablaze, unabated.

There's a lot of concern -- and that, I guess has -- takes first place -- a lot of concern about the state of Soviet-American relations.

And I have felt in those letters and through those letters an immense desire of the American people, a very strong desire to change the situation in the world for the better, and of course pride of place is taken by the need for a change in relations between us, between the -- between our peoples. . . .

Let me just now address myself to the topic of our relationship.

I shall be going to Washington with a desire to discuss this problem, as well, and I think it's a leading problem.

How can we change relations between our peoples for the better? The Americans say, Now why is it -- now, why can't we be allies? Why can't -- we were allies at one time -- Why can't we be allies now? There's so many problems in the world! Can't we join our efforts, can't we join -- pool the enormous might of our countries' economic, intellectual capacities to resolve all these problems?

And that is very important, very important indeed. We need mutual understanding, and I believe that we must display greater respect for each other; try and understand the history of our nations better.

The Soviet Union is a unique phonomenon. It's a whole conglomeration of over a hundred nations and nationalities, and just try and imagine that behind us, behind every one of those peoples and nationalites which now make up the Soviet Union, and next year we shall be marking the millenium of Christianity in Russia.

But even before the Kiavan-Russ existed with a dynamically developing people, an original culture and wide ties with European nations.

Or take the peoples of the trans-Caucasia of Central Asia. Their history goes way back into the depths of history. A unique history, an original history belongs to the peoples of the Baltic region.

But all these nations now make up the Soviet Union. There's a lot in our history that was not simple. There's a lot of struggle. We had to fight back many invasions, starting from Genghis Khan and Batu and others in order to stand up for our independence.

And you know that leads to a forging of a national character, and our values were thus formed.

All of these people value their language, their culture. They are patriots. They have a feeling of dignity, and without all that you cannot understand us or our actions if you don't know that history.

We are dedicated to peace. And you can travel throughout the Soviet Union anywhere, and everywhere you will see and hear testimony of that.

And that's why I say that my visit next week, we regard as a very important phase in our relations.

It will be our third meeting with President Reagan, and we will be signing a treaty on medium-range and shorter-range missiles.

We will be discussing other world problems. So on the whole we will have a lot of things to talk about.Cutting European Forces

The Americans and the Europeans and the others should know that the Soviet Union has no intention whatsoever of attacking anybody. That's number one.

Second, . . . there is a certain asymmetry, both in forces and armaments, and we're prepared to address ourselves to that without delay. We have made our proposals, and we are awaiting a more active position, a more active response from NATO.

And therefore we are prepared to deal in practical terms. We are ready to sit down at the negotiating table and tackle these problems in practice. Nuclear Arms Cuts

Well, I believe that in this matter, which really does make up -- constitute the very core of Soviet-American relations, there are real prospects ahead of us. . . .

We believe that it is possible to do a lot of work with this present administration so as to -- so that we could make headway on this major direction in the area of arms control. We will act constructively, and I guess the Americans and the world at large have convinced themselves that we can and we are indeed acting constructively. 'Star Wars'

I believe that the question of SDI is not a subject for negotiations. We shall be talking about strategic offensive arms, about levels and sublevels, and we have some steps that we could take to meet the American position halfway. And we've already taken some. We shall be talking about the strict compliance with the ABM treaty. That's what we're going to talk about.

We formulate our position in a very clear-cut way. We are prepared to accept a 50 percent reduction in the first stage, with strict observance of the ABM treaty.

In that degree that SDI does not run counter to the ABM treaty, let it -- let America act, let America indulge in research. Insofar as SDI does not run counter to ABM, that is not a subject for negotiations. . . .

If we reduce our medium-range missiles, our shorter-range missiles, and if we agree at the first stage to make 50 percent cuts in our strategic offensive arms and then to go on and fully eliminate nuclear weapons, then the question does arise, why, what is SDI for, and what is the militarization of outer space for? . . .

So what are we going to do now, take weapons into outer space? That would certainly lead to a destabilization with unforeseeable consequences. . . .

Practically, the Soviet Union is doing all that the United States is doing, and I guess we are engaged in research, basic research, which relates to these aspects which are covered by the SDI of the United States.

But we will not build an SDI, we will not deploy SDI, and we will call upon the United States to act likewise.

If the Americans fail to heed that call, we will find a response. It'll be a hundred times cheaper. But then the guilt will be, the blame will lie squarely with the Americans, with the U.S. administration.

Afghanistan

This is our neighbor country. Given all the regimes, we were always good neighbors. It is a state which was one of the first to recognize Soviet power in Russia. There were kings and something quite different. They had their own processes under way. But whatever happened there, we were always friends. In fact, that's the way we try to build relations with all our neighbors.

After the well-known revolution in Afghanistan, where an attempt was made to make some internal reforms and to bring that society out of its ancient system -- but that was a purely domestic process -- a different government came to power.

At the same time certain processes were building up connected with, first and foremost interference from outside, in order to undermine that new regime.

And they appealed to us, as to their neighbors, some say 11 times, others say 13 times. They appealed to us for help in that very difficult period. And at one of these very acute moments, when the situation really grew very exacerbated -- became very exacerbated -- we met the request of the Afghan government.

And that does not run counter to the United Nations Charter. And we, meeting their desire, introduced our limited Soviet contingent of troops, and we have never increased it.

But we see that today the situation does require some solutions. We are looking for ways to bring about an earliest, prompt solution of that problem.

And I believe that if the American administration really does sincerely want that problem to be resolved, to be closed by political means, it could be done very quickly. Nicaragua

I have to smile when I hear that the security of the United States is being threatened by the Sandinista regime. That's not serious. It certainly is not serious. This is the back yard of Latin America, where the people just can't -- couldn't live the way they did. It couldn't stand the dictatorship any more, and it rose up against it. And we feel that -- we were convinced that morally right are all those who supported that indignation, the just indignation of those people and took power into their own hands. Why shouldn't this suit the administration of the United States? I think now even in Congress they have understood that -- surely the Americans understand that Nicaragua cannot threaten -- pose a threat to the United States.

The Berlin Wall

{Keeping the Wall} is the sovereign right of a sovereign state, the German Democratic Republic, to defend its and protect its choice, and not to allow any interference in its domestic affairs. Through West Berlin, a lot was done which caused great harm, both political and economic, to that country, to that people. So these are all the realities which arose out of concrete situations. I can say to you as I said once to a West German. He said to me, now, Mr. Gorbachev, Stalin used to say that Hitlers come and go, but the German people, the German state remain. But you have divided Germany into two states. So then I said to him, well, all right, let's remember facts of history. And I reminded him of those facts. It turned out that he knew them all, but it also turned out that that division of Germany ran counter to the agreements reached in Yalta and Potsdam. So the Wall appeared before you think it did. It's another matter that it was made out of a different material. But as a result, what happens with what we have right now and today, those are realities, and you have to treat realities as they require. Human Rights, Emigration

We are in favor of rights, in favor of the broad rights of the citizens. We're so dedicated to this that that in fact was the purpose behind our revolution. And you know what we did during the revolution; we took away the power from the landowners and the Tsar. That right we gave back to the people. We took away the factories, the plants and private property, and we gave them to the people, the working people. And it was on that basis that we eliminated the exploitation of man by man. We built up a planned economy, we guaranteed for each individual the right to work. We have no unemployed. There's free education. And that is guaranteed by the state. Free medical care -- the society guarantees it. And the state largely has taken upon itself care for the provision of homes to the working people. Now, then, why -- and this is so interesting -- by its level of national income this country is lower than the per capita income of the United States, but in terms of social protection our society is much higher than yours.

So, in 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced his Bill of Social and Economic Rights, believing that there cannot be any real rights unless these problems are resolved. That was a very interesting bill, but it remained in the congressional archives from that day on. Now, considering the fact that America is being criticized for not recognizing social and economic rights, that it is not signing or ratifying international covenants relating to that subject, the United States is being criticized for that throughout the world. And Mr. Reagan, this past July introduced once again another version of that Bill of Social and Economic Rights. Although it's very different from the one that Roosevelt had. And -- but yet, I think there will be a lot of water passing through the Mississippii and the Volga before the U.S. Congress and the administration recognize the American people's right to their protection of their social and economic rights. But all that has been guaranteed in the Soviet Union.

As regards the question that you touched upon -- that is, exit, entry -- well, I understand the concern of the American side to some extent, since that is a nation that was formed as a -- largely as a result of emigration processes. And therefore our views are different.

But you know, as is the case in the United States or in Canada, they don't really want to allow into the United States people from Mexico or from other countries, those who don't have the skills that are required. But as soon as in the 1970s there was especially a big flow of those who wanted to emigrate from the Soviet Union, there was one highly placed representative of the administration who declared that we've resolved the problems of mathematicians by 50 percent.

The United States wants here through these channels making this out to be -- making themselves out to be an active defender of the rights -- of human rights, to resolve their own problems, and what they're organizing is a brain drain. And of course we're protecting ourselves. That's number one. Then, secondly, we will never accept a condition when the people are being exhorted from outside to leave their country. . . .

And we will continue in a spirit of humaneness to seek to resolve every individual case, but within the framework of our own laws. And therefore you should not try and go into another man's monastery with your own charter.

We have our state, we have our nation, democratic state which is based on the constitution and our own laws. As for our good will, it is there. Family reunification -- we believe that to be a problem, and we shall do our best to have those problems resolved. . . .

I think that right now we have among those who have not received permission only those who cannot leave because of state security reasons. There are no other reasons, and we will continue to act in that way.

Agriculture, Economy

The food problem is one that does exist in this country, and although we eat 3,300 calories per person per day, the question is one of the structure of food intake. Now, as to the fact that two percent of the individual small holdings produce one-third of the output. Those two percent of the individual household could not have done a thing for one reason: they get their grain, their animals, technical assistance, expert consultations, transport services, their seeds from the collective and state farms. They are really integrated with the collective and state farms.

In all of this there is one interesting aspect. We are right now on a longterm basis we're offering families and groups of people that they take a plot of land, or let's say, hire some means of production machinery and show what their initiative is worth. But this does not mean we are rescinding the collective farm system. No, this is a flexible combination of the possibilities for the large-scale farms which assumes a great deal upon its own shoulders and at the same time the initiative, the interests, the personal and material interests of a family, or of a small group of persons, that is to grow a certain crop or to produce a certain amount of farm animals.

Now, if in the West, the structural policy and modernization which accompanies it is accompanied by growing unemployment, we want to avoid this, and this will be done in that very way. Such opportunities are opened up by a planned system of the economy. Already now we are elaborating our plans for organizing new jobs in new territories and in other spheres, especially in services and trade.

And therefore on a planned basis we will transfer some people with due assistance from the state, the system needed to retain people, and sort of remove them from one sphere to another. And I believe this will be done in such a way as not to affect the incomes of working people. In other words, this adaptation of the economy to the scientific and technological progress will be achieved within the framework of socialist approaches, so as not to allow any unemployment. This is our pivotal task. Firing of Boris Yeltsin

No, there was no mistake.

We shall wage our struggle without allowing . . . adventurism and at the same time resolutely combating conservatism.

And what happened with Yeltsin -- well, look, in fact it's a normal process for any democracy. I don't want to count how many ministers or secretaries were replaced even recently in the United States in President Reagan's administration.

Role of Women

I think that a woman should take part in all spheres of life, in all of the processes taking place in society, but this must be done in such a way that one should not prejudice the other. And all the more so, we should think about how to help our women to combine active participation in social, cultural processes with their duties, with their predestination -- that is as keeper of the home fires of the family, guardian of the family. Strong family means a strong society. So we will not restrict the participation of women in public affairs. We would rather help women so that it is easier for women to combine the functions of motherhood with that of an active citizen of the country.

Raisa Gorbachev

We discuss everything. . . . I think I have answered your question in toto. We discuss everything.

On a Gorbachev Era

Well, I don't want that in 10 years' time everything should belong to only the memory. I think by that time there will only be a real upsurge in what we have begun to develop today, so I hope and believe that this will not simply be something belonging to the old past. It will be part of the dynamic present. . . .

And I believe that what is now happening in this country will be a certain contribution to the progress of human civilization.