Radio Free Europe will not broadcast on the Balkans

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The U.S. Congress yesterday released the so called “Omnibus” spending bill worth a trillion dollars, which during the next fiscal year will fund the work of the federal government. The budget does not contain major surprises, and is part of the Democratic and Republican Party to avoid a new blockade of the central government of the United States.

– We have a deal, said Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, after the yesterday’s meeting with the leadership of the House. Tomorrow the bill will be voted in the House, and by the end of the week should be adopted by the Senate and to take effect.

The budget provides broadcast termination of the program of Radio Free Europe on Macedonian language, which is financed from the budget section of the great institution BBG that finances the Voice of America. Besides the Macedonian program, the other remaining programs of Radio Free Europe on the Balkans will also not broadcast, and the programs of the Voice of America will remain active, with the exception of the Greek program and the radio program Voice of America on Albanian. BBG cites the improved political conditions in the region in the rationale of this proposal.

– Conditions in the Balkan countries are different. Macedonia and Montenegro enjoy relatively stable political conditions and are candidates for membership of NATO and the European Union. Kosovo has applied but has not yet been admitted to the United Nations. In Bosnia, there are concerns about the sustainability of the postwar agreement, and the corruption remains widespread. Serbia, the largest of the target states of BBG, embarked on the path of democratization after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. In conditions of limited resources and great need for engagement in other parts of the world, it is necessary to eliminate the Balkan service of the Radio Free Europe, the explanation of the BBG budget says.

Anastasia Kolobrodova of BBG said for MIA that the draft budget is expected to be passed by Congress as proposed.

Macedonian program of Radio Free Europe had no comment on the announced abolition of funding for their program.

Radio Free Europe was established in 1949 by the leadership of the U.S. military and the CIA, as a media organization that works to undermine the communist regimes in the occupied countries of Eastern Europe. After the fall of communism and the war in the former Yugoslavia, the radio becomes more active on the Balkan region.

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