URGENT Orlov’s Wife Told By Soviets She And Husband Will Be Leaving
MOSCOW (AP) _ Soviet authorities today told the wife of dissident Yuri Orlov that she and her husband soon will leave the Soviet Union for the United States, a friend reported.
Irina Orlov was not told when she and her husband would depart or when she would be reunited with her husband, the friend said.
Until today, the Soviets had not contacted Mrs. Orlov about emigrating. Secretary of State George P. Shultz announced Monday that Orlov, who has spent eight years in labor camps and in internal exile in Siberia, would be allowed to emigrate with his wife to the United States by Oct. 7. Their emigration was part of the superpower agreement that freed American reporter Nicholas Daniloff and Soviet U.N. employee Gennadiy Zakharov.
Mrs. Orlov was called to the national visa agency this afternoon and told she would be allowed to leave, said the friend, who was reached at Mrs. Orlov’s apartment in Moscow. The friend spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mrs. Orlov had gone to visit her sick mother, her friend said, and was not available for comment.
″Senior inspector Berezin (of the visa agency) said that he would call Irina tomorrow (Friday) and tell her when she would be leaving and when she can collect her passport,″ the friend said.
″Irina does not know when she will see her husband, or where he is right now,″ the friend said.
Earlier today, the 40-year-old Mrs. Orlov said Soviet authorities had yet to contact her about emigrating.
On Wednesday, U.S. Charge d’affaires Richard Combs visited Mrs. Orlov at her home to discuss her husband’s case. Mrs. Orlov said he was able to tell her only what she learned from Western reporters a day earlier.
″Everything he told me has already been made public,″ she said. ″I don’t know anything new.″
Orlov, 62, was a founding member of the unofficial human rights group formed to monitor Soviet compliance with the 1975 Helsinki accord.
The group, which at one time had 30 active members, disbanded in 1982, by which time all but three members had been imprisoned, banished to Siberia or exiled abroad.