Exiled Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky urged the United States today not to pursue detente with the Soviet Union so long as it continues to violate human rights.
In an address to the AFL-CIO executive council here, Bukovsky praised President Carter's recent declarations of support for Russia dissidents but cautioned against expecting any "speedy and immediate results."
If U.S. policy is "firm" and "consistent," he told the labor leaders, the Soviet Union ultimately "will have nothing to do but recognize the new political realities."
The 34-year-old Bukovsky, who spent most of his adult life in Soviet prisons, mental hospitals and labor camps and was exchange last December for an imprisoned Chilean Communist leader, was brought to the United States last week by the AFL-CIO, which strongly supports his criticisms of the Soviet system. Bukovsky testified earlier this week before a commission that is monitoring the Helsinki agreement on human rights and is scheduled to meet with President Carter next week.
His remarks today - in the speech, at a press conference with AFL-CIO President George Meany and later at a luncheon with labor executives - dovetailed the hard-line policy that Meany espouses.
At one point Bukovsky said of Meany, "He impressed me as a rock," explaining that he meant the 82-year-old labor leader is a "cornerstone" of American society.
In his address to the executive council, Bukovsky charged that economic aid to Communist countries "which is not conditioned on definite and strictly fulfilled demands" serves only to strengthen a system that does not respect human rights.
He said surveillance devices that Soviet secret police use against dissidents are made in the West and said the handcuffs he wore when he was expelled from the Soviet Union were inscribed "Made in the U.S.A."
Asked if it is possible for the United States to help dissidents and still get along with the Soviet Union, Bukovsky said priority must be given to the "moral stand for moral principles all over the world." Moscow has signed treaties pledging respect for human rights, but "until the Soviet Union starts to fulfill its obligations with its treaties, no normal and good relations with the Soviet Union can be granted."
Sitting at Meany's side at the press conference, Bukovsky smiled broadly when Meany said that the United States cannot help the cause of human rights "by being nice to the Soviet Union" and that "it's like saying that you can improve the conditions of the inmates of the jail by drinking champagne with the jailer."
In other development's, the executive council endorsed continued development of the B-1 bomber, advocated retentio of controls on oil and natural gas prices along with breakup of the "oil monopolies," and called for legislation to overrun a recent Supreme Court decision that upheld denial of disability benefits to pregnant women.