The first Soviet diplomats to be expelled from Portugal since the 1974 revolution left for Moscow on Tuesday (26 August) amid much publicity.
GV Soviet aircraft on tarmac at Lisbon airport.
SV INT Commander Vladimir Konyaev, Assistant Naval Attache at Soviet Embassy having passport stamped. (2 SHOTS)
SV Alexander Koulaguin secretary in the Military Attache's office at desk.
SCU Minister-counsellor Albert Matveev embracing diplomats.
SV Mr. Matveev embracing ambassador Arnold Kalinin, and checking in for flight.
GV Passengers boarding Aeroflot aircraft on tarmac.
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Background: The first Soviet diplomats to be expelled from Portugal since the 1974 revolution left for Moscow on Tuesday (26 August) amid much publicity. The government declared them unwelcome on Wednesday (20 August), accusing tem of having interfered in Portugal's internal affairs.
SYNOPSIS: A flyushin-62 waited for the four diplomats at Lisbon airport. Assistant Naval Attache, Vladimir Konyaev, arrived in Lisbon only two years ago. He and his family were the first to board the regular Aeroflot flight to Moscow. Portuguese government officials identified him as the head of a Soviet military intelligence operation in their NATO country. Such spying charges were at the centre of the Portuguese allegations against all four diplomats. But the Soviet embassy has vigorously denied all these charges.
The most senior of the four, Minister-counsellor Albert Natveev, waved his diplomatic passport as he checked in. Mr. Matveev was among the original small group of diplomats who established the Soviet mission after the April revolution. The Soviet presence is the second largest in Portugal, after that of the United States, although the brief but spectacular honeymoon is over. The embraces at the airport were for eastern diplomats and a last goodbye to Ambassador Arnold Kalinin, who stays behind to bear the now icy front of Portugal's right-wing government. To them, the 19 months of Soviet-Portuguese friendship were a diversion to allow Marxist take-overs in former Portuguese African colonies. The Communist opposition, however regard the whole affair as simply a manoeuvre by the government to discredit the left before the October 5th general elections.