Waiting for an Answer from Moscow

Soviet emigre David Goldfarb and his wife, Cecilia, were left unsure after visiting the Soviet Consulate here Tuesday whether they will be given a temporary visa to go to Moscow to visit their daughter, Olga.

Consulate officials said the request would be considered, but the decision would have to come from Moscow, the Goldfarbs’ son, Alex, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after the 15-minute meeting at which he also was present.

“I don’t know what will happen,” Alex said. “The ball is in their court. We have to sit and wait.” He described the Consulate as “noncommittal, formal and polite.”

Alex Goldfarb said they stressed to the Soviet Consulate the need for a decision to be made on the visa as soon as possible for medical reasons. Goldfarb suffered a stroke in June. They were informed that the final decision for the visa would be made in Moscow.

Goldfarb, 69, a retired geneticist, came to the U.S. nearly a year ago on board the jet of billionaire industrialist Armand Hammer in a private deal worked out with Soviet officials. A seven-year-refusenik, Goldfarb did not go through the normal procedure in which Soviet emigres must relinquish their citizenship. But as Soviet citizens they still require permission to go in and out of the Soviet Union.

Goldfarb said Monday in New York that he was prepared to risk going to Moscow without the promise that he would be allowed to return to the U.S. But he hopes that Olga and her family, whose emigration is pending, will be allowed to join them in New York. The elder Goldfarbs will remain in Washington a few days visiting relatives. Alex Goldfarb left Tuesday to return to New York.

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