Declaring that reporter Nicholas Daniloff is a victim of “a state-sponsored kidnaping,” two senators urged the State Department on Wednesday to immediately enforce a law reducing the number of Soviet diplomats and consular officials stationed in the United States.
The senators, Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and William S. Cohen (R-Me.), urged Secretary of State George P. Shultz to use the law they sponsored.
This was part of a strategy to bring pressure to bear on the Soviets to free Daniloff, the imprisoned Moscow correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, whom the Soviets have accused of spying.
“Our suggestion is that implementation of numerical equivalence begin immediately, and the pace and manner of implementation, including the proportion of reductions of Soviet personnel here compared to increases in American officials in the Soviet Union, be directly affected by Soviet treatment of Mr. Daniloff,” Leahy said in a speech on the Senate floor.
The senator said that, at present, the State Department plans to implement the legislation gradually over three years and only through increases in the level of American representation, “not through any reductions in the numbers of Soviets here.”
Meanwhile, an official of a Jamestown, N.Y., organization sponsoring a high-profile meeting in the Soviet Union between U.S. and Soviet officials said the group of about 270--including some Administration officials--would cancel next week’s session if Daniloff remains jailed.
But John Wallach, executive director of the Chautauqua Institution, stopped short of declaring the meeting canceled. Wallach, however, did say that he doubts that the Administration would go ahead with its participation in the session if Daniloff remained in prison. Therefore, he said, the group would not carry on without the official U.S. delegation.