Soviet spokesman Lomeiko replies to Monitor protest

I would like to answer your telex in regard to the incident involving a correspondent of your newspaper, Gary Thatcher. I am doing so not because you demand a reply -- the wording, as well as the tone, of your telex are totally unacceptable and impermissible -- but because fairness demands an impartial examination of the facts. Moreover, it is apparent from your telex that Gary Thatcher has misled his editors: He was not ``detained'' by authorities in Leningrad, just as there was no ``confiscation and theft'' of his notes. The materials belonging to Gary Thatcher were kept temporarily at customs for inspection in view of their glaringly hostile attitude to our country, and included publications of an overtly anti-state character.

In view of Gary Thatcher's status as a permanently accredited correspondent in Moscow, customs returned the materials. We hope that Mr. Thatcher has drawn some conclusions from this and that in the future he will display the necessary deliberation in his actions, tact, and a respectful attitude toward the country which has granted him accreditation. We are counting on you to remind your correspondent of these elementary rules of human and professional conduct.

(Signed), Vladimir Lomeiko

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