Soviet authorities continued to bar all contacts with protesting scientist Andrei Sakharov today, but Liza Alexeyeva, the young woman at the center of Sakharov's hunger strike, met with an official of the KGB secret police and also talked by phone with the head of the prestigious Academy of Sciences.
The absence of news from Gorki, a city 250 miles east of here where Sakharov has been exiled, has heightened concern among his friends about the health of the nuclear physicist and his wife. They were forcibly hospitalized Friday after a 13-day hunger strike.
Alexeyeva was briefly detained by the KGB Saturday when she attempted to travel to Gorki and was warned that she should refrain from attempts to establish contact with Sakharov.
Today, a KGB official who identified himself as Alexander V. Baranov told Alexeyeva that her request to travel to Gorki "had not yet been resolved." In the course of a 20-minute interview, Alexeyeva said she gave Baranov the recent correspondence from Sakharov and restated her desire to visit the physicist.
The fact that Anatoly Alexandrov, president of the Academy of Sciences, agreed to talk to Alexeyeva today was also seen here as reflecting a slight change in official attitude. He refused to see her Friday and sent an aide instead.
Alexandrov's aide told Alexeyeva to go to Gorki and seek to settle the hunger strike. But when she attempted to make the trip Saturday, she was detained by the KGB.
Today, Alexeyeva said Alexandrov apologized to her for the incident. She also quoted him as saying that he had once more approached unspecified authorities about her request to travel to Gorki. He made the efforts, she quoted him as saying, because "Sakharov's situation was serious."
She said she believed Alexandrov was speaking about Sakharov's health, but it was possible that he was referring to the complex situation that had been created by the hunger strike.
Sakharov and his wife have vowed they would not stop their hunger strike until Alexeyeva was allowed to emigrate to the United States to join Sakharov's stepson, Alexei Semenov, a graduate student at Brandeis University. The couple was married by proxy in Montana last summer.
With the government apparently forcibly ending the hunger strike, a situation has been created in which the Academy of Sciences may be called upon to play an important role.
As president of the academy, Alexandrov is an important figure supervising the vast scientific establishment whose annual budget -- according to official figures -- is larger than that of the defense establishment.
Despite official denunciations, Sakharov, who remains a member of the academy, continues to enjoy considerable support within the scientific establishment.
The current impasse involves an unyielding government and an equally determined Sakharov. If a compromise were to be worked out following the involuntary end to his hunger strike, the academy could attempt to persuade the physicist to modify some of his views while the government may relent and let Alexeyeva travel to the United States.