119. Memorandum From the President’s Acting Assistant for National Security Affairs (Nance) to President Reagan 1


  • Pentecostal Families in US Embassy Moscow

Embassy Moscow has provided a good report on the plight of the Vashchenko and Chmykhalov families.2 It notes that:

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—the families are showing some flexibility in the steps they are willing to take to resolve their situation and, in particular, have come to accept that the Soviet authorities are unlikely ever to agree to any direct emigration from the embassy;

—resolution will require the families to agree to a way that will make it easier for Soviet authorities to allow emigration;

—the families are generally in good health, with a couple of exceptions;

—the embassy’s policy of liberalized access, implemented in early 1981, is helping and possible improvements in the families’ living conditions are being examined;

—interest in the case is growing in the West, particularly in the UK; and

—we must continue high-level expressions of interest in this case as an important factor in our bilateral relations.

  1. Source: Reagan Library, NSC: Executive Secretariat, Country File, USSR (12/15/1981–12/17/1981). Confidential. Sent for information. A stamped notation at the top of the memorandum reads: “The President has seen 12/17/81.” On the top right hand corner, Reagan wrote “RR.”
  2. Hartman provided a report on the Vaschenko and Chmykhalov families in telegram 16758 from Moscow, December 8. (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, D810584–0507)