French president Francois Mitterrand ended talks in Moscow on June 22 during which he criticised the Soviet human rights record in a speech and specifically referred to dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov.
1. GV Soviet President Chernenko greets French delegation. 0.18
2. CU STILL Pictures of French President Mitterrand meeting Soviet leader. Chernenko, Gromyko and others with speech referring to Sakharov SOT under. 1.40
3. SV Gromyko and Soviet officials shaking hands with Mitterrand and French delegation. 1.59
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Background: MOSCOW, USSR
French president Francois Mitterrand ended talks in Moscow on June 22 during which he criticised the Soviet human rights record in a speech and specifically referred to dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov. The President kept his pledge to speak plainly to Soviet President Chernenko, saying that the Sakharov's and other cases caused concern in the West because they implied a threat to the 1975 Helsinki human rights accords. He also criticised Soviet policy on nuclear arms, Poland, and Afghanistan. The Communist Party daily newspaper Pravda, which normally reprints the speeches of visiting heads of state in full, censored Mitterrand's speech by removing passages critical of Soviet policy. Pravda said only that Mitterrand had spoken in detail on the need to observe human rights in all countries. Andrei Sakharov, a distinguished physicist who fell out with the Soviet authorities over the creation of nuclear weapons he himself was working on, has lived under police guard in the city of Gorky for the past four years. His family say that he has started a hunger strike but the authorities say Sakharov is in good health. Diplomats in Moscow sat that such plain speaking would have been unthinkable by Mitterrand's right-wing predecessors but added that Moscow was prepared for the President's comments on human rights by statements he made before the start of the visit.
Source: SOCIETE NATIONAL DE TELEVISION - TF1/NATIONAL DE TELEVISION EN COULEUR - A2