Summons concerns U.S.

April 07, 1993|By Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- The State Department said yesterday that it had "expressed our concern" over the Russian Security Ministry's summons of a Baltimore Sun Moscow correspondent for questioning about articles he has written.

Will Englund was ordered to appear today for questioning by the security ministry that is the successor to the KGB. He was not told what he would be asked about. But the summons apparently is related to articles Mr. Englund has written about the development of chemical weapons in Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Vil Mirzayanov, a scientist who talked to Mr. Englund about the program and published an article of his own, has been charged with illegally disclosing state secrets.

"Our embassy in Moscow has expressed our concern about the case to the Russian Foreign Ministry," Richard Boucher, the state department spokesman, said of the order for Mr. Englund to appear. "We'll continue to follow that case closely."

Alexei Kandaurov, a spokesman for the Russian Security Ministry, told the Associated Press that he had no direct knowledge of Mr. Englund's case, but that "under the law, he can be summoned and questioned as a witness. There is nothing unnatural or illogical in it."

The summons appeared to be the first for a U.S. reporter in Russia since the arrest in 1986 of Nicholas Danilov, a correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, who was held briefly on espionage charges and then released in the prelude to a U.S.-Soviet summit, the AP reported.

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