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Soviet Diplomats

Volume 977: debated on Monday 28 January 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal how many of the 65 Soviet diplomatic passport holders at present stationed in the United Kingdom he estimates to be members or former members of the KGB and the GRU.

It would not be appropriate for me to make a public estimate of this kind.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what travel restrictions are made upon Soviet officials who wish to make a journey of 35 miles from Hyde Park Corner; and how long these restrictions have been enforced.

Soviet officials wishing to travel more than 35 miles from Hyde Park Corner are required to notify the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in writing at least two working days in advance of the date of travel. This travel notification scheme has been in force since 1952, when it was established in response to the severe restrictions imposed on travel by British officials in the Soviet Union.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what reciprocal arrangements have been made between the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom as regards the activities of diplomats in both countries.

The activities, privileges and immunities of diplomats in the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union are governed by the terms of the Vienna convention on a reciprocal basis. In addition, each country has established a travel notification scheme for officials from the other country.