American relatives of Soviet dissident Andrei D. Sakharov and his wife, Yelena Bonner, said they were given a stormy reception at the Soviet consulate here yesterday when they attempted to deliver letters asking for permission to visit Moscow and for information about Bonner's reported trial and sentencing.
Bonner's son and daughter by another marraige, Alexey Semyonov and Tatiana Yankelevich, both of whom are American citizens, said that Soviet authorities initially refused yesterday to accept one of the letters, but finally relented after "a 40-minute heated discussion and much shouting."
The letters, copies of which were given to The Post, were signed by Ruth Bonner, Yelena Bonner's 84-year-old mother from Moscow who has been in this country for about four years and who family members said wants to return home..
Semyonov said that Soviet officials initially refused to accept the letter requesting information about Yelena Bonner's reported trial for anti-Soviet activities and sentencing to five years of internal exile, claiming the matter was "outside the competence" of the consulate.
He said his grandmother refused to leave the consulate building, located at 1825 Phelps Place in the Kalorama section of the city, until she was assured that the letter would be passed through to the proper authorities. The letter was then accepted with "exagerated politeness," Semyonov said.
A spokesman for the Soviet consulate could not be reached for comment.
The second letter delivered to the consulate asked for visas for Semyonov and his sister to accompany their grandmother on her planned return to Moscow.