BBG Watch Commentary

Hudson Institute President & CEO and BBG Governor Kenneth R. Weinstein
Hudson Institute President & CEO and BBG Governor Kenneth R. Weinstein

Hudson Institute, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, condemned the denial of a journalist’s visa by Russia to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) advisor David Satter who is also a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

“David Satter is a valued colleague and friend who is one of America’s leading authorities on contemporary Russia,” said Hudson Institute President & CEO Kenneth R. Weinstein. “He has Hudson Institute’s unequivocal support.”

Kenneth Weinstein is also a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which has oversight authority over RFE/RL and other taxpayer-funded U.S. international media outlets, such as the Voice of America (VOA).

BBG Chairman Jeff Shell issued a statement on behalf of the BBG yesterday, in which he called for the Russian government’s decision regarding David Satter “to be reversed.” Shell called it “gross interference in the operations of Radio Liberty” and confirmed BBG’s support for “the right to free speech and journalistic liberty everywhere.”

Also yesterday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf expressed “disappointment” with the Russian decision on Satter’s visa. See: “U.S. State Department ‘disappointed’ with Russian visa denial to American journalist, Voice of America has not yet reported,” BBG Watch, Jan. 15, 2014.

While U.S. taxpayer-funded VOA has not reported on its English news website for international audiences on the State Department statement, BBG chairman’s statement, or comments by BBG Governor and Hudson Institute president Kenneth Weinstein, a Hollywood Reporter article today focused on the State Department’s and the Hudson Institute’s defense of David Satter.

It is quite ironic that The Hollywood Reporter would have an article on the U.S. State Department and a Washington think tank statements on the lack of media freedom in Russia, but taxpayer-funded Voice of America, which is required by Congress to report on U.S. foreign policy and foreign policy discussions, would not post even a short news item on its English website.

BBG Chairman Jeff Shell and BBG Governor Kenneth Weinstein should look into it as part of their oversight duties at the BBG.

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HUDSON INSTITUTE PRESS RELEASE

Hudson Institute Statement on the Expulsion of Senior Fellow David Satter from the Russian Federation

David Satter at Hudson Institute

Hudson Institute Statement on the Expulsion of

Senior Fellow David Satter from the Russian Federation

 

January 14, 2014 (Washington, DC) —Last night, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty officially confirmed that Hudson Institute Senior Fellow David Satter has been expelled from the Russian Federation as an “undesirable,” and barred from further travel or work in Russian territory for a period of five years. Satter had been residing in Moscow while researching a book on post-Soviet history and serving as an advisor to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Hudson Institute condemns Russia’s arbitrary and punitive moves against David Satter in the strongest possible terms, demands that his expulsion and ban be immediately reversed, and urges the U.S. government and international community to make every possible effort to ensure that David Satter is allowed to continue his scholarly activities in Russia without further delay or interference.

“David Satter is a valued colleague and friend who is one of America’s leading authorities on contemporary Russia,” says Hudson Institute President & CEO Kenneth R. Weinstein. “He has Hudson Institute’s unequivocal support.”

RFE/RL President and CEO Kevin Klose called the expulsion and travel ban “entirely without foundation or explanation” and “a fundamental violation of the right of free speech and journalistic liberty.” The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has lodged a formal diplomatic protest with Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Satter is the author of three books on Russia, most recently “It Was a Long Time Ago and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past” (Yale University Press, 2011), and director of a documentary on late-Soviet Russia, “Age of Delirium,” which won the Van Gogh Grand Jury prize at the 2013 Amsterdam Film Festival.

Satter began reporting on Russia in 1976 as the Moscow correspondent for London’s Financial Times. His essays and articles regularly appear in a wide variety of major U.S. and international publications, and he is a frequent guest—interviewed in both English and Russian—on Radio Liberty, BBC’s Russian Service, BBC World, Voice of America, CNN, PBS, C-SPAN, and other broadcast networks.

For further information about David Satter and Hudson Institute, please contact Carolyn Stewart, 202-974-6456,cstewart@hudson.org or visit Hudson.org.

For updates, follow @HudsonInstitute and @DavidSatter on Twitter.

About Hudson Institute: A nonpartisan research organization promoting new ideas for the advancement of global security, prosperity and freedom. Hudson.org

For David Satter’s bio and recent articles and publications, click here.

For David’s website, visit DavidSatter.com.

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