On Accepting a Prize

I am very grateful for this honor. In February 1986, I approached the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist party, Mr. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, with a request to free prisoners of conscience, people repressed for their religious convictions and those who opposed the use of violence. In December, when Mr. Gorbachev telephoned me and notified me about my wife’s and my release from Gorky, I reminded him once again about my request. Since that time, approximately 150 prisoners have been freed. It is absolutely necessary to work toward an unconditional release, without any solicitation or obligation on the part of the prisoners, of all prisoners of conscience, including those who were convicted for the second time for the term of ten years of imprisonment and five years of exile, prisoners of special security camps or jails, all those convicted for lesser terms, and prisoners of conscience in psychiatric wards.

I once again call upon the USSR and the US to ratify the agreement of 50 percent reduction of strategic nuclear forces, the reduction which would be independent of the agreement regarding SDI, i.e., I am calling upon the Soviet Union to abandon the package principle, not only for Euromissiles, but also for intercontinental missiles. My plea to abandon the package principle does not invalidate my negative attitude toward the SDI program as expensive, ineffective, and destabilizing of the strategic balance.

I call upon the USSR to immediately pull out its armed forces from Afghanistan and put an end to this cruel war.

Mankind cannot manage without peaceful nuclear energy. We must, however, provide full safety and completely eliminate the possibility of new accidents, such as the one at Chernobyl. Nuclear energy from the environmental/ecological standpoint can and must be safer than energy based on coal, oil, and gas. A complete solution of the safety problem is the placement of nuclear reactors underground, a few tens of meters deep. It is necessary, in my opinion, to have an international agreement that would bind all states to build only underground reactors. As for the proponents of environmental protection, they should concentrate their efforts on increased safety of nuclear energy, and not on the struggle against it, since such a struggle would be unrealistic.

This is all that I wanted to tell my Spanish listeners. I send them my regards. Spain is always in the thoughts of our people. We know and love it from the days of our childhood.