Thatcher Lunched With Top Russian KGB Agent, Papers Reveal
- RIA Novosti
- Oct. 08 2013 00:00
- Last edited 20:11
The late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher attended a luncheon in 1982 with double agent Oleg Gordievsky, who was then head of the Soviet Union's London KGB spy network, papers released Monday reveal.
Gordievsky, who fled the Soviet Union in 1985 as Moscow began to suspect his treason, was included on a guest list for a 45-minute hotel lunch alongside British lawmakers and local officials, a document published by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation has revealed.
The meal took place during the annual conference of Thatcher's Conservative Party in the British seaside resort town of Bournemouth.
"A number of guests from Young Conservative Groups in Europe, America and New Zealand will be attending the Conference. Members of the 'Diplomatic Corps,' including: Mr O Gordievski from the Soviet Embassy," the document reads.
A career KGB officer, Gordievsky began working with British intelligence in the 1970s, but experts said it was doubtful that Margaret Thatcher knew who he was in 1982.
It was "unlikely but not impossible" that Thatcher knew who Gordievsky was during the encounters, Christopher Collins, a historian at the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, told RIA Novosti. Gordievksy probably asked to attend the lunch because he was writing a profile of Thatcher for the KGB at the time, added Collins.
Gordievksy, 76, settled in Britain after his escape from the Soviet Union.
He later encountered Thatcher, who died last year, on official occasions in his capacity as a Russian agent who had provided valuable information to the West.
He also met with U.S. President Ronald Reagan.