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Ussr (Ministerial Visit)

Volume 128: debated on Wednesday 2 March 1988

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38.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealh Affairs whether, during his recent discussions in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, he raised the subject of telecommunications and interference with international radio broadcasts.

No. Jamming of the BBC vernacular services to the Soviet Union has ceased. We hope that the Soviet Union will take steps to end all jamming and will continue to make our views known in appropriate fora. My right hon. and learned Friend took the opportunity of his visit to press the need for greater access by Western media to the Soviet public, for example through free circulation of newspapers.

78.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealh Affairs if he will make a statement on his recent trip to the Soviet Union.

My right hon. and learned Friend had full and wide-ranging talks with Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Shevardnadze and others covering bilateral matters including trade, arms control, human rights and regional issues. He also met human rights activists and was able to put our views directly to the Soviet public in their press and on television. The visit was a further contribution to our active dialogue wth the Soviet leadership and to the improving atmosphere of East-West relations.