5. Letter From President Carter to Professor Andrei Sakharov1

Dear Professor Sakharov:

I received your letter of January 21,2 and I want to express my appreciation to you for bringing your thoughts to my personal attention.

Human rights is a central concern of my Administration. In my inaugural address I stated: “Because we are free, we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere.”3 You may rest assured that the American people and our government will continue our firm commitment to promote respect for human rights not only in our own country but also abroad.

We shall use our good offices to seek the release of prisoners of conscience, and we will continue our efforts to shape a world responsive to human aspirations in which nations of differing cultures and histories can live side by side in peace and justice.

I am always glad to hear from you, and I wish you well.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Department of State, Files of the Bureau of European Affairs, Office of Soviet Union Affairs, Lot 91D231, Box 3, Old Sakharov Files, 1975–1978. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 2.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 3.