U.S. Senators Intervene on Behalf of Russian Families

Two U.S. Senators disclosed today that they had intervened personally with Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev while he was in the U.S. on behalf of Jewish families in the Soviet Union denied exit visas. In one case the intervention was successful, in the others, there was no response from the Soviet leader or other Russian authorities.

Sen. Richard S. Schweiker (R.Pa.) revealed today that Leonid Tarassuk, former curator of European arms at Leningrad’s Hermitage Museum, will emigrate to Israel July 13 with his wife and two children.

Sen. Schweiker said he had requested Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin here last April to expedite the Tarassuks’ emigration after he had learned that the firearms expert had been ordered to report for military reserve duty which seriously jeopardized the family’s chances of obtaining visas. Tarassuk’s military service was postponed shortly afterwards.

Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D. Wise) disclosed today that he had sent a letter to Brezhnev during his visit to Washington last week calling his personal attention to the plight of three Jewish families in Kiev. No response has been received.

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