HC Deb 14 November 1984 vol 67 c253W
40. Sir Peter Blaker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the average annual number of Soviet citizens granted visas to visit the United Kingdom during the last 15 years; what is the average duration of such visas; and how these figures compare with the number of visas granted to United Kingdom citizens visiting the Soviet Union.

Mr. Rifkind

The annual numbers of Soviet citizens admitted to this country from 1970 to 1983 are as follows:

1970 5,889
1971 5,480
1972 4,717
1973 6,272
1974 7,401
1975 8,443
1976 9,397
1977 10,472
1978 11,294
1979 10,379
1980 8,674
1981 10,056
1982 10,371
1983 7,558

Nearly all these were short visits of 30 days or fewer. British citizens are not required to notify United Kingdom authorities of their intention to travel to the Soviet Union or to any other country. We therefore have no information of Soviet entry visas granted to British citizens.

Rev. Martin Smyth

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will seek a further opportunity to raise with the Soviet Foreign Minister the cases of Ida Nudel and Vladimir Slepak and others who have been waiting for many years for exit visas to join family and friends outside the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Mr. Rifkind

My right hon. and learned Friend has raised the question of human rights with Mr. Gromyko on each occasion he has had talks with him. We will continue to remind the Soviet authorities of their human rights commitments at every suitable opportunity. The cases of Ida Nudel and Vladimir Slepak are well known to us. Mrs. Nudel's case has been raised with the Soviet Union at ministerial level on several occasions.