BONN (Jul. 10)
West German diplomats who accompanied Chancellor Helmut Kohl on his visit to Moscow last week said today that the granting of exit visas to ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union, including Jews and Germans, will depend on the state of relations between the USSR and the United States.
They told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the new Soviet leadership considers the question of exit visas to be part of the “big game” with the U.S. and predicted that Moscow will severely limit the departure of both Jews and Germans unless there is a major breakthrough in relations with Washington and an improved understanding between East and West generally.
The diplomats said the emigration of ethnic Germans from the Soviet Union was on the agenda of Kohl’s talks with Russian leaders. The Chancellor conceded that he failed to get any assurances of a substantial increase in the number who will be allowed to leave. The issuance of exit visas to Germans has declined sharply in the last three years and continues to drop. The situation is the same for Jews seeking to leave the Soviet Union.