At the end of their May 3-7 visit to Moscow, BBG Board members Susan McCue and Michael Meehan released the following statement:
“Given the rapidly shrinking independent media across Russia over the past few months, we have asked the management of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Russian Service and Voice of America Russian Service to redouble US international media efforts in that country. After our many meetings in Moscow with a range of Russian media experts and champions of human rights and civil society, we believe it is critical to have the best, most experienced news reporters working for us covering Russia both inside and outside of the country.
“In particular, we have asked Acting RFE/RL President Kevin Klose and his team to continue their timely outreach now under way to all the former Radio Liberty journalists, whose expertise could assist in providing important insight and valuable analysis of the inner workings of Russia today.
“We wish to underscore recent observations by Reporters Without Borders, which noted that ever since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency, the Russian government ‘has had a spate of repressive laws passed in order to prevent the growth of more freedom of information,’ and that this is ‘a crucial moment for freedom of information in that country.’
“Upon our return to Washington, DC, we intend to follow up on positive dialogues with Ambassador Michael McFaul and others about seeking creative partnerships to explore the potential of expanding platforms for distribution of our broadcasters’ programs. Radio Liberty is more critical than ever as Russia tightens the flow of communication throughout the country.”