Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 240

Richard Bliss, the 29-year-old American telecommunications engineer arrested late last month by Russia’s security services on espionage charges (see Monitor, December 2, 5, 9), has been allowed to leave Russia over the holidays. According to a U.S. State Department spokesman, the deal was worked out by Bliss, his employer, Qualcomm, and the Russian authorities. There were few details available on the release, but Bliss apparently flew out of Russia yesterday on a plane chartered by Qualcomm. He has reportedly been ordered to return to Russia by January 10, and the investigation into case will continue. (AP, UPI, December 23) Bliss has been charged with making illegal land surveys in Russia’s Rostov region; he was released on bail earlier this month but ordered at that time to remain in the city of Rostov-on-Don. The U.S., along with Qualcomm, has protested the arrest and asserted that Bliss is innocent.

Iran and Russia Continue to Build Ties.