148. Memorandum Prepared by the Ambassador at Large (Thompson)1
- Broadcasting in the Soviet Union
- Ambassador Anatoliy F. Dobrynin, USSR
- Llewellyn E. Thompson, Ambassador-at-Large, Department of State
On the occasion of the lunch for the Soviet wheat delegation,2 the Soviet Ambassador took me aside and made the following statement:
“In the Soviet Union, it was found necessary to draw attention to the activities of such subversive radio stations as “Freedom,” “For the Liberation of Great Russia,” “N.T.S.,” “Free Russia” which continue their broadcasts to the Soviet Union in Russian and the languages of other nationalities of our country. It is no secret, that these radio stations, speaking on behalf of various organizations hostile to the Soviet Union, are financed and controlled by American organizations and groups. The contents of their broadcasts are of a dirty, slanderous character and cannot but cause indignation of the Soviet public with regard to those who direct and lead the work of the said radio stations.
“The activities of such radio stations are in a manifest contradiction with the task of the normalization and development of relations between the USSR and the USA and it is time to put an end to such activities.
“It should also be noted, that, in violation of international agreements, these radio broadcasts are conducted on the radio waves which belong to the USSR and a number of other countries.
“As is known to the American side, the Soviet organizations, having expressed their good will, stopped jamming radio broadcasts of “The Voice of America” to the Soviet Union.
“We should like to hope that the American side will take this into consideration, that it will approach our appeal with understanding and will take measures within its responsibility to put an end to the above-mentioned anti-Soviet radio broadcasts.[Page 391]
“This would respond to the purposes of improving Soviet-American relations.”
The Ambassador explained that this was not a formal statement but that he had simply been instructed to speak to me personally along these lines. As lunch was announced at this point, I had no opportunity to reply.
The Soviets may be seeking an excuse to resume jamming, although I would doubt this from the care with which Dobrynin emphasized that this was not a formal statement. Nevertheless, I suggest that careful consideration should be given to what reply, if any, should be made.
- Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Subjects Series, Box 306, Radio Free Europe. Confidential.↩
- The luncheon meeting took place in the Department’s James Madison Room. For the memorandum of conversation, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. V, Soviet Union, Document 366.↩