124.61/172: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Steinhardt ) to the Secretary of State

1025. Department’s 710, May 21, 7 p.m.92 The Soviet authorities have made it abundantly clear that travel in the Soviet Union to the virtually all-inclusive enumerated areas is absolutely forbidden without [Page 883] prior official authorization. It appears most unlikely that official authorization will be granted to visit any of the forbidden areas excepting in rare cases, and two members of the Diplomatic Corps have been refused authorization to go to Odessa or Leningrad on visits.

In so far as concerns the transit of diplomats or their employees through any of the forbidden zones the Commissariat states that transit will be permitted to the extent that the voyage necessitates with stopovers limited to the period of time necessary to make connections.

The Foreign Office further states that the decree does not apply to motor trips in the immediate vicinity of Moscow but that notification of an intention to visit must be given in respect of proposed visits to the few other nonforbidden zones.

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