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Serbia: U.S. Says Radio B92 Signed Contract

Washington, 16 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - The State Department said Friday that the United States is pleased that Radio B92 signed a multi-year contract Friday with Serbia's state television for broadcast authority.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns says it appears that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic "has completely reconsidered" his decision to stifle Radio B92.

Burns said the U.S. government "is very grateful to RFE/RL and to VOA for helping radio B92."

RFE/RL said in a news release that B92 broadcast RFE/RL's news programming while the Serb radio was off the air. It said RFE/RL's Belgrade bureau incorporated reports from B92 journalists into its coverage of the protests in Serbia. B92 is back on the air and continues rebroadcasting RFE/RL's programming.

Burns said, however, that media freedom in Serbia "fails to come close to even minimally acceptable international standards." He said Radio Boom remains closed down and he called on the Serb authorities to allow Radio Boom to operate.

RFE/RL says it doubled its broadcasts into the area since protests began in Serbia.