ACCESSION NUMBER:328949 FILE ID:POL106 DATE:02/28/94 TITLE:STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28 (02/28/94) TEXT:*94022806.POL STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28 (U.S.-Russia) (270) NEWS BRIEFING -- Spokesman Michael McCurry discussed the following topic: U.S. PROTESTS RUSSIAN RETALIATORY EXPULSION OF U.S. DIPLOMAT The United States has "protested in the strongest possible terms the expulsion from Russia of a U.S. embassy officer" in apparent retaliation for the U.S. expulsion of a Russian embassy officer, McCurry said. He said the February 25 expulsion of the Russian from the United States "was an entirely justified action in light of the involvement of the Russian intelligence service in the Ames espionage case. By contrast, the expulsion of the U.S. diplomat from Moscow is purely an act of unjustified retaliation." Asked whether the U.S. government interprets reports of Russian President Boris Yeltsin's firing of his counterintelligence chief as being related to the Ames case, McCurry replied, "We have no interpretation of that because we frankly don't know." The spokesman said Nikolay Golushko had been "removed from his post by presidential decree without explanation. We do not know why President Yeltsin dropped Golushko. The only thing we know about him is that he was appointed last September as minister of national security and then head of counterintelligence in December when the national security ministry was abolished." Asked about the Russian role in the ongoing Mideast peace talks, McCurry said they "are a valued cosponsor of the peace process, adding "I think that they will continue to play the role that they've played" in these talks so far "in the discussions here in Washington." NNNN .