Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Arrest and Detention of Nicholas Daniloff in the Soviet Union

September 16, 1986

The Daniloff matter is an issue of continuing and increasing concern to the United States. Until Nick Daniloff is free the U.S.-Soviet relationship will be businesslike, but it will not be business as usual. We will, in every forum, raise the Daniloff matter and continue to raise it until Nick Daniloff is free. We will examine each of our contacts and arrangements with the Soviets in light of the Daniloff case.

Secretary [of State] Shultz will be meeting this weekend with [Soviet] Foreign Minister Shevardnadze, and we will raise the issue as the first item on the agenda. In addition, we will be continuing to raise it in our talks on nuclear testing at Geneva, as the sixth session of the nuclear space talks resumes Thursday in Geneva; at the Chautauqua Conference; and, as I say, at the Shultz-Shevardnadze meeting. The longer Nick Daniloff is held in the Soviet Union, the more it will affect our relationship with the Soviets.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 9:21 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House. Mr. Daniloff, the U.S. News & World Report Moscow correspondent, was arrested on August 30.