Report Soviets Charge U.S. with Provocation for Interceding in Rigerman Case

State Department spokesman John King said today that the Soviet Union had replied “recently” to the Department’s charge of last December that the USSR had violated the consular treaty by attempting to block Leonid Rigerman from entering the American Embassy in Moscow to confirm American citizenship. But aside from saying that the Soviet reply was “under study,” King declined to comment on the matter other than to note that Rigerman and his Brooklyn-born mother, Mrs. Esther Rigerman, had been granted American citizenship last Dec. 19 and had applied for a visa on Dec. 28. (In New York, the city’s First Deputy Commissioner for Ports and Terminals, Daniel Greer, who has been representing the Rigermans’ interests in the United States, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Soviet reply called the American charge a provocation and questioned the State Department’s going to so much effort on behalf of only two individuals. Greer said also that Leonid Rigerman’s uncle, Louis Michael of the Bronx, had written his nephew, as required, to make a formal request that he come to the U.S. Greer said no response had been received yet, and that “We trust that the Soviet mails have let it go through.”)

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