Diplomacy: Pouch Without a Home

Two weeks ago, a white Mercedes-Benz truck with SOVTRANSAVTO painted in blue Cyrillic letters on its side pulled up to the Swiss border at Basel. The nine-ton tractor-trailer did not need to be inspected, the three Soviets inside insisted, because it was merely a "diplomatic pouch." But Swiss officials refused to accept that. Though the Vienna Convention does not specify a maximum size for a diplomatic pouch, the Swiss pointed out, in practice it almost never covers cartons of more than 450 Ibs. After much haggling, the Swiss allowed the truck to continue to the Soviet mission in Geneva, but...

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