News In Brief

Blunt reply for Australian to a question on Sakharov

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko bluntly refused a request from Australia's foreign minister on Tuesday for information on the health of dissident Andrei Sakharov. Mr. Gromyko was said to have been visibly irritated by the inquiry. (Dr. Sakharov was reportedly taken from his Gorky home May 7 and has not been heard from since.)

Members of the Australian delegation said Gromyko told Foreign Minister Bill Hayden that Moscow ''will not discuss this (the Sakharov case) with anybody.''

According to Mr. Hayden, Gromyko said Sakharov's health was an internal affair and that Moscow ''will not be told how to deal with the Sakharovs by other countries.''

''Gromyko then said, 'The conversation on this subject ends here' and terminated the dialogue,'' he added.

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