Nobel laureate Andrei D. Sakharov called Friday for more steps to reduce the size of the Soviet military and appealed for massive help for the victims of the earthquake in the Armenian republic.
Sakharov, arriving to attend a celebration marking the 40th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, said one way to cut down the Soviet military would be to limit the length of service for Soviet draftees.Commenting on Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev's offer Wednesday to cut the Red Army by 500,000 men and withdraw thousands of tanks and troops from Eastern Europe, he said it was a major decision but only a beginning.
The human rights activist and nuclear physicist said reductions in manpower and weapons "can be done and will change in a major way the international situation. Gorbachev is going in this direction and this is very important. I would have liked to see bigger cuts but what was done is important."
Sakharov, 67, spoke at a 90-minute news conference at the Soviet Embassy.
Speaking about Wednesday's devastating earthquake in Armenia, Sakharov said volunteers were needed from all over the world to help victims.
Bidding goodbye to America in Boston earlier in the day, Sakharov called the United States a wonderful country but said he had no desire to move there.