BBG Governor Leon Aron recently returned from visits to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty headquarters in Prague as well as bureaus in Ukraine and Moldova.
While in Ukraine on April 27 and 28, Aron met with RFE/RL journalists and staff at the network’s Kyiv bureau, met with Voice of America contributors, visited affiliate network Espreso TV, and learned more about the state of affairs in Russia-annexed Crimea from exiled Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev. While in Kyiv, Aron also had discussions with the U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt and Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. In addition, Aron visited Channel 24, an affiliate station.
In Chisinau, Aron met the Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti and U.S. Ambassador James D. Pettit, and. After meeting with the RFE/RL bureau and staff, he also met with Igor Dodon, leader of the Socialist Party, former Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and Minister of Defense Viorel Cibotaru.
“We continue to speak out about media freedom, and to fight for it where necessary. That is why the Broadcasting Board of Governors supports programming on radio and TV, for people in Moldova and the surrounding region, and we have the backing of the citizens of the United States for this important work,” he said in remarks to a media and other officials at a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador James D. Pettit.
In the days leading up to World Press Freedom Day, Aron applauded the work of the assembled journalists and staff, saying, “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to meet with you, the people who are working to advance freedom of information through the reporting of accurate news in your country.”
Governor Aron wrapped up his trip with a visit to the RFE/RL headquarters in Prague, where met with staff of the Russian Service, observed a live broadcast of the joint RFE/RL-VOA Russian-language news program “Current Time,” discussed new digital media initiatives, and participated in the weekly editorial meeting.