SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 9)
Soviet reprisals against Professor Aleksander Lerner of Moscow for applying to emigrate to Israel now include a ban against his accepting a professorship in Europe, the American Jewish Congress disclosed today. Congress officials here said Prof. Lerner told them in a phone conversation late yesterday that he had been refused permission to accept an exchange professorship at the Academia Nazional dei Lincei in Rome, Italy.
The Russian Jewish scientist, one of the world’s leading computer experts, said he had been told permission was denied because of his expulsion from all academic posts in the USSR following his application for an emigration visa. Prof. Lerner reported that Stefan Korneev, director of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Academy of Sciences, had informed him he would no longer be eligible for any exchange programs.
The telephone call to Prof. Lerner was made from the AJCongress Northern California regional office at 40 First Street in San Francisco late Tuesday. Joel Brooks, director of the Congress office here, said the call was placed against the background of the arrival in the US of Georg S. Pavlov, reputed to be the third highest ranking Soviet official ever to visit the US. who is involved in arranging President Nixon’s visit to the USSR in May.
Pavlov is director of administrative affairs of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party. One of his reported assignments during his current visit to the US is to purchase advanced computer equipment from American manufacturers. Brooks urged that computer firms approached by Pavlov “raise the issue of Prof. Lerner’s scholarly quarantine” with the Soviet government official during their discussions.