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Soviet Wife of U.S. Citizen Told She Will Be Able To Leave

November 14, 1987

MOSCOW (AP) _ Yelena Kaplan, a Soviet citizen who has fought for nine years to join her American husband in the United States, said Friday that Soviet authorities had granted her permission to emigrate.

A special commission of the Supreme Soviet, the nation’s nominal parliament, gave permission for her and another Soviet who also is married to an American, Galina Goltzman, to leave, Ms. Kaplan said.

″I cried when I got word,″ said Ms. Kaplan, ″My application has been refused so many times - about a dozen - that I’ve lost count.″

Ms. Kaplan, 29, married Gary Talanov, 32, a Lake Tahoe, Nev., ski instructor, in 1978 when he was a student in Moscow.

She said she learned of the decision during a visit to the legislature’s Moscow offices earlier in the day.

Ms. Kaplan said an official of the Moscow visa office told her he had not been informed of the decision, but that she would probably hear from the office in two or three weeks.

″I’m still pretty nervous about all this, but I’ll have to wait,″ she said.

A third Soviet seeking to emigrate, Sergei Petrov, had his application rejected, Ms. Kaplan said.

Ms. Goltzman has been separated for more than 30 years from her husband, Anatoly Michelson, 69, of Naples, Fla. Michelson defected to the West while vacationing in Austria.

The legislative commission was created earlier this year to resolve conflicts over emigration. Ms. Kaplan said when Secretary of State George P. Shultz visited Moscow in April, she and other Soviets who are separated from their American spouses were told to submit their cases to the commission.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Congress asked the Soviet Union to allow 10 Soviets to rejoin their American spouses.

Talanov returned to the United States after marrying Ms. Kaplan, but his wife was refused an exit visa. In 1985, he sought to obtain an uncontested divorce in a U.S. court, but later dropped the action.

In April, Talanov again sent a request to Soviet authorities asking that Ms. Kaplan be allowed to rejoin him in the United States, a document that she needed to get permission to emigrate.

More than 6,000 Soviet citizens have received permission to emigrate so far this year, more than six times the number allowed to leave in 1985.

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