New Zealand Expels Senior Soviet Diplomat Accused of KGB Role

From Reuters

A senior diplomat at the Soviet Embassy here has been identified as a KGB officer and has been ordered to leave the country within seven days, Prime Minister David Lange said today.

There was no immediate comment from the embassy on the expulsion of counselor Sergei Budnik.

Lange said in a statement that Budnik has been identified as an officer of the First Chief Directorate of the Soviet KGB security police.

"He has been declared persona non grata on the grounds that his activities in New Zealand have not been in accord with his declared status and is required to leave New Zealand within seven days," Lange said.

4th Soviet Expelled

He added there would be no further comment on the case.

Diplomats said Budnik has been in New Zealand since August, 1982. He is the fourth Soviet diplomat to be expelled in the past 25 years.

New Zealand officials said the government does not intend to reveal the details of Budnik's activities.

A spokesman for Lange said Soviet Ambassador Vladimir L. Bykov was summoned to the Foreign Ministry this morning.

"The situation was explained verbally and he was told of the expulsion," the spokesman said.

New Zealand has nine diplomats in Moscow including an ambassador.

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