Voice of America Gets Informal OK to Open Moscow Bureau
Jun. 16, 1988
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Voice of America officials said Wednesday that Soviet authorities have agreed informally to let the government radio service open a bureau in Moscow.
The U.S. Information Agency, which runs VOA, applied to Soviet authorities a year ago for permission to open a Moscow bureau. USIA Director Charles Z. Wick renewed the request in informal talks with Soviet officials at the recent summit in Moscow.
''Soviet authorities have indicated informally that they will soon respond positively to VOA's request to open a Moscow bureau,'' said Beth Knisley, a spokeswoman for the radio service.
The bureau would be VOA's first in Moscow and the service hopes to have it set up and ready for broadcasting in three months, she said.
Wick could not be reached for comment. USIA spokesman Joseph O'Connel said the agency would ''make an announcement at the appropriate time.''
The Soviets, under the glasnost - or openness - policies of leader Mikhail Gorbachev, have recently opened more doors to VOA, allowing interviews with officials.
The Soviets stopped jamming VOA broadcasts to the Soviet Union on May 26, 1987, and stopped interferring with broadcasts to Poland on Jan. 1 of this year. They currently are jamming just two of VOA's broadcasts, both to Afghanistan in the languages of Dari and Pashto, Knisley said.
VOA has 25 bureaus worldwide, broadcasting in numerous languages.
Although they have stopped jamming VOA broadcasts, the Soviets still try to interfere with reception of Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe, both also operated by the U.S. government.