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Stolar and Family to Leave, Soviets Tell Hammer

May 17, 1987|Associated Press

CHICAGO — A 75-year-old Soviet resident who holds U.S. citizenship was granted permission to leave the Soviet Union with his entire family, following the intercession of industrialist Armand Hammer, a spokeswoman for Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) said Friday.

The decision to allow Abe Stolar and his family to emigrate came 13 years after he was granted similar permission by authorities, only to have his and his wife's visas voided by Soviet officials in 1974 as they sat on a plane preparing to leave the Soviet Union.

The reason given was that Stolar's wife, Gita, had worked several years earlier as a chemical engineer and had access to classified materials.

Stolar, who holds an American passport, has refused to leave the Soviet Union without his family.

Stolar, who lives with his family in Moscow, left Chicago in 1931 to go to the Soviet Union with his parents. Stolar, who is Jewish, became an editor-translator for Radio Moscow and is retired.

Last year, Stolar and his wife again obtained visas. Their son, Mikhail, also obtain visas for his family, but Soviet authorities refused to let Mikhail's wife, Julia, leave because she was the sole source of support for her mother, said Pamela Huey, a spokeswoman for Simon. The younger Stolar couple also have a year-old daughter, Sarah.

After that setback, Simon wrote Hammer, chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corp., asking his help.

Hammer wrote Soviet Ambassador Yuri V. Dubinin in March to plead Stolar's case, Huey said, and was informed Friday that Stolar and the entire family would be permitted to leave.

No date was given, nor was there an explanation about why Soviet authorities reversed their earlier decision, Huey said.

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