clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

FIGHT FOR FUNDS TO RAZE `BUGGED' U.S. EMBASSY GOES ON

A Bush administration battle to tear down the U.S. Embassy in Moscow suffered an important setback last week but State Department officials said they won't give up the fight to raze the building.

The setback came when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted down a $270 million request for funds to tear down the partially completed 11-story chancery building on the U.S. Embassy grounds in Moscow.Secretary of State James Baker had made tearing down the building, which has been planted throughout with listening devices, a priority in his frequent dealings with Congress.

After three years of study, the State Department decided the only safe way to deal with the listening devices, put into the pre-cast concrete structure by Soviet contractors, was to raze the building to ground level and start all over again with strict controls over future construction.

The Senate committee disagreed and voted $50 million for providing "secure space" in the embassy compound, scratching the money for tearing the present building down.