The Soviet Union has withdrawn an invitation to Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D-Wash.) to visit there this spring after Jackson informed the Soviets that he would like to meet several dissidents while he was in Moscow.
Jackson, a leading Senate spokesman for a hard-line American foreign policy, had planned to visit Russia during the Senate's Easter recess. In a statement yesterday, Jackson said the visit "has been postponed by the Soviet leadership."
This followed a discussion between Jackson and Soviet Ambassador Anatolly F. Dobrynin, which Jackson described in his statement:
"I informed the ambassador that while in the Soviet Union I intended privately to call on Dr. Andrei Sakharov (the symbolic leader of Soviet dissidents) and a small group of those Soviet citizens who have applied for permission to emigrate."
This warning apparently convinced the Soviets to call off the visit.
In the past numerous American senators visiting Moscow have met Sakharov and Jews hoping to emigrate. An aide to Jackson said yesterday that he was only trying to be polite by advising the Russians in advance that he planned such meetings.
"I regret that the Soviet leadership regarded two private discussions as an obstacle requiring postponement of my visit," Jackson said yesterday. "While there are no plans under discussion to renstate the invitation I received, I hope that the Soviet leaders will come to regard a frank and open exchange of views as helpful to the improvement of relations between our two countries."