BONN, West Germany (FR) – Soviet officials in Moscow are now allowing foreign radio programming to enter the homes of the people in the USSR without interference, according to a recent report by the Associated Press. Radio Liberty officials are rejoicing and adjusting their programming for newly-cleared airwaves after the end of 35 years of Kremlin-ordered broadcast jamming.
“This is a great challenge for us,” said S. Enders Wimbush, director of the U.S.-owned network based in Munich which broadcasts news and commentary from the West. “It’s caused tremendous excitement around here, because they (radio employees) see an opportunity they’ve long waited for.”
News of the policy change was broadcast to listeners in the Soviet Union. “This was very much in our news. We gave it good play,” said Robert Redlich, spokesman for Radio Liberty and its sister station Radio Free Europe (RFE), which beams its signal to Eastern European countries.
President Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s policy of “glasnost,” or openness, seems to be responsible for the end of Soviet jamming of Radio Liberty airwaves. The Soviets ceased jamming of the U.S. operated Voice of America service more than a year ago, and some East European countries stopped blocking Radio Free Europe broadcasts. However, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria continue to interrupt RFE service.