Airport border guards abruptly revoked the passport and exit visa of a Soviet strike leader Friday as he was to board a flight to the United States. The U.S. Embassy filed a strong protest. Embassy spokesman Jim Bullock said the United States considered the action a violation of the new free-exit policy.
Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman Sergei Komolov said Sergei V. Masalovich's visa was canceled because the trade union committee in Vorkuta had stripped him of his duties. "He cannot be part of the official delegation," but may re-apply for a visa for a private visit, Komolov said. The miners were chosen for the trip by their strike committees.Bullock responded that Masalovich was traveling on the personal invitation of the U.S. ambassador and "an organization cannot cancel an invitation to a private individual."