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Soviet Union

Volume 978: debated on Friday 15 February 1980

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asked the Prime Minister (1) if, in the light of her speech of 28 January setting out the Government's policy of restriction on contacts with official representatives of the Soviet Union, and on restriction on the exchange of scientific information with the Soviet Union, she is satisfied that the attendance by a British delegation, including a representative of the Foreign Office, at the scientific forum, convened under the Helsinki agreement, at Hamburg on 18 February and subsequent days, for the purpose of exchanging scientific information, is in accord with that policy;(2) in the light of Government policy as set out in her speech in the House on 28 January on relations with the Soviet Union, if she will ensure that the British delegation to the scientific forum, convened under the Helsinki agreement, which will meet on 18 February and subsequent days in Hamburg, for the purpose of exchanging scientific information, will raise with the Soviet delegation to the scientific conference the treatment by the Soviet authorities, in contravention of the Helsinki agreement of dissident Soviet scientists, such as Professor A. Sakharov and Mr. Y. Orlov.

The Government have already deplored the actions of the Soviet Government against Dr. Sakharov and other scientists, which are inconsistent both with the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act and with the aims of the Hamburg scientific forum. I feel sure that the Government's views will be taken into account by the British scientists attending the forum, which flows from the Helsinki Final Act.