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Soviets Order Five More U.S. Diplomats To Leave URGENT

October 22, 1986

MOSCOW (AP) _ The Soviet Union on Wednesday ordered five more U.S. diplomats to leave the country in retaliation for ″anti-Soviet actions″ by the United States.

Gennady Gerasimov, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, also said the Soviet Union was imposing new restrictions on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the consulate in Leningrad, including the removal of all 260 Soviet employees at the two missions.

He said the United States will not be allowed to use third-country nationals to replace the Soviet workers, and can bring Americans in to fill their secretarial, custodial and driving jobs only within the overall limits on embassy staff.

Gerasimov also said the number of Americans at the embassy in Moscow and the Leningrad consulate will be held to the U.S.-set limits on Soviet diplomats in the United States, which he said are 225 at the embassy and 26 at the consulate.

In a speech to the Soviet public after Gerasimov briefed reporters, Kremlin leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev referred to the U.S. explusion of 55 Soviet diplomats.

″They (U.S. officials) have taken action in recent days which to the normal human mind appear simply wild after such an important meeting on the level of the highest leadership of the two countries,″ Gorbachev said, referring to the superpower summit in Iceland.

″Of course we will take reply measures,″ he said. ″Very tough measures, so to say on an equal footing. We are not going to put up with such outrageous practices.″

The Soviet actions came one day after the United States ordered the expulsion of the 55 Soviet diplomats. On Sunday, the Soviets ordered five other American diplomats to leave the Soviet Union.

Both countries said the diplomats must leave by Nov. 1.

Of the 55 Soviets ordered to leave their embassy in Washington and consulate in San Francisco, five were declared ″persona non grata″ by the State Department in retaliation for the ordered expulsion Sunday of the five U.S. diplomats.

U.S. officials said the 50 other Soviets were ordered home to reduce the number of Soviets at their embassy in Washington and consulate in San Francisco and establish ″parity″ between the Soviet and American diplomatic complements.

Gerasimov told a hastily called news briefing that the expulsions ordered by the United States were an ″anti-Soviet action″ that was ″without any grounds whatsoever.″

He said ″the U.S. administration is misleading the U.S. and international public by saying there are fewer people in American missions than in ours.″

The five U.S. diplomats ordered expelled Wednesday included four from Moscow and one from Leningrad, Gerasimov said.

He identified the diplomats as naval attache Capt. Thomas Holme Jr., army attache Col. Richard Naab, second secretary Michael Morgan, third secretary Michael Matera and Leningrad vice consul Daniel Grossman. Matera is the embassy’s human rights officer and Grossman also monitors human rights matters.

On Sunday, the Soviets ordered the expulsion of four U.S. diplomats in Moscow and one U.S. diplomat in Leningrad.

Twenty-five Soviets in New York were forced out earlier under a U.S. allegation the U.N. mission had been used for espionage. In addition, 70 Soviets at the United Nations will be required to depart in three stages over the next 18 months.

On Tuesday, before the latest U.S. expulsion order was announced, Gerasimov, said: ″If the United States will insist on continuing this game of tit-for-tat, then this can continue indefinitely. We consider it is time to stop.″

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