WASHINGTON (Sep. 13)
The Soviet government has ceased jamming the broadcasts to the Soviet Union of the Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation and the West German Radio (Deutschwelle) but is continuing to drown the programs from Radio Israel, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, the State Department said today.
The jamming which was ended Sept. 10 had been in effect with one exception since June 21, 1968 when Soviet military forces entered Czechoslovakia. The exception was the VOA’s broadcast of Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev’s speech while he was visiting the United States last June.
Observers here felt the cessation of jamming was a sop to mollify Senate Foreign Relations Committee members who had criticized the Soviet internal system during their questioning of Secretary of State-designate Dr. Henry A. Kissinger. Use of RFE and Radio Liberty was defended by Dr. Kissinger in his testimony but he said that U.S. foreign trade should not be tied to “transforming” the Soviet Union’s domestic policy.
A German observer saw the Soviet end of jamming as “an inexpensive way” of meeting the challenge from Western critics at the European Security Conference reopening Sept. 18 in Helsinki. “The West wants a free flow of ideas and of the movement of peoples,” he noted. “The Russians can now say, we are allowing the free flow of ideas, why keep talking about people which is an internal matter.”