JERUSALEM — Freed Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky on Wednesday expressed support for the Reagan Administration's tough line in seeking the release of Nicholas Daniloff, the American reporter arrested by the KGB last weekend in Moscow for alleged spying.
Shcharansky, a human rights activist who spent nine years in Soviet prisons after being convicted in a secret trial of spying for the United States, warned Washington against consenting to trade Daniloff, a correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, for a Soviet physicist recently arrested in New York on espionage charges. He said such a trade would amount to a tacit acceptance of "hostage-taking" and would jeopardize other Americans in the Soviet Union.
"It is quite natural to feel sympathy for the family (of Daniloff)," Shcharansky said. "But if you now display weakness, if you pacify the aggressor, then the position of every American journalist and every American tourist will become much more dangerous."
He said the West is "very vulnerable" to psychological blackmail because of its emphasis on human values and sympathy for those victimized by the KGB. "(Soviet leader Mikhail) Gorbachev and his advisers know well the weaknesses of the West and how to pressure you," Shcharansky said.