MOSCOW, June 1, 1988 (UPI) - Soviet spokesman Gennadi Gerasimov opened a joint press briefing at the Mezh Hotel during the Moscow summit by announcing that the parents of a newborn Russian baby named him Ron in honor of the visiting American president.
"Then a girl was born and the parents called her Reagana," he reported.
Gerasimov, who has a sardonic style, said the news of the newborn was received in a couple of the many messages ''from different parts of our country'' symbolizing approval of Reagan's visit.
''While these touching and apparently somewhat naive cables reflect the sentiments of the Soviet people, they show that the Soviet people approve the changes for the better that take place in the relations between our countries,'' Gerasimov said.
Gerasimov made an opening statement to his captive press audience at that briefing, going on and on as White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater looked on with a smile.
When he wound up his remarks, Gerasimov said, ''I hope that my colleague Fitzwater will add to what I have probably omitted to say.''
''I can't imagine you omitted very much,'' replied Fitzwater wryly.
President Reagan, who has been getting a lot of mileage out of ''doverayi no proverayi,'' the Russian expression ''trust but verify,'' learned some new Russian sayings from his tutor, Mikhail Gorbachev.
One of them was ''the truth is born in disputes'' and ''if the disputes are too hot, then the truth evaporates.''
But more to the point is an old familiar Russian adage, ''It is better to see with one's own eyes than hear it a hundred times.''
Reagan, making his first visit to the Soviet Union, did get the flavor and he found out that the Russian people are warm and friendly.
But that is not always the case with the ordinary American visitor who must deal with surly waiters and cab drivers.
It isn't often that the KGB has to worry about its image problem. But the behavior of the Soviet security agents at the Arbat Mall, a Greenwich village style neighborhood near Spaso House, the U.S. Embassy residence, when President and Mrs. Reagan decided to take a stroll, had repercussions.
The agents were chastised, according to informed sources, for shoving, jostling, elbowing American reporters assigned to follow the Reagans.
The agents are not used to having reporters and cameramen around their VIPs and they panicked. But when the word got back to Kremlin officials, the KGB agents were reprimanded.
The Soviets thought the mammoth press center they set up in the Mezh Hotel was great as a propaganda platform. As reporters pounded out stories about the summit, they were treated to briefings on alcoholism and drug addiction; a new golf course being financed by Soviet benefactor and American industrialist Armand Hammer; a new literary magazine that was starting up.
The problem was that no one was listening. And yet those doing the briefings did not seem to mind. They figured that surely there must be an audience in that large room.
Someone put a bee in President Reagan's bonnet before he came to Moscow -- that Russian women are great. He praised them in an Oval Office interview with Soviet TV correspondents, and again during his walk in Red Square.
And once more he could not resist at the end of his news conference winding up the summit, when he was asked: ''What have you learned about the Soviet Union? What have you learned in your first trip to Moscow?''
And he replied: ''I'm going to do one answer because I've wanted to say this, and I say it anytime I get a chance. I think that one of the most wonderful forces for stability and good that I have seen in the Soviet Union are the Russian women.''