News 2 march — 11:24

Margaret Thatcher: 'Either Heydar Aliyev or Mikhail Gorbachev' (Sensational fact)



'In the autumn of 1984 in London, there were considered two candidates from the Politburo members who were going to be invited to a meeting with Margaret Thatcher: Heydar Aliyev and Mikhail Gorbachev. It recently became known from the correspondence materials declassified by the British government,' tells journalist and commentator Sergey Brilev in an investigative documentary 'Gorbachev: then and now.'

Brilev asks Mikhail Gorbachev himself:

'Do you know that in the end of 1984, it might have been heydar Aliyev and not you who went to London?'

Gorbachev: 'No. I didn't know that.'

Brilev: 'They have declassified British government's correspondence. And they were looking for a young member of the Politburo, with whom they could make contact. They considered two candidates: Heydar Aliyev and you.'

Gorbachev: 'It's interesting. The British were looking here.'

'According to declassified correspondence, it was London that insisted on Gorbachev becoming leader of the delegation, which travelled from the USSR to the United Kingdom. So, did the West impose a new leader on the USSR? And wasn't he reforged in the West?' asks Brilev.

In 2013, the British government declassified 400 documents about the preparation to that visit.

On June 5, 1984, assistant to the British PM wrote in a report that Margaret Thatcher had agreed to invite to London Heydar Aliyev, Mikhail Gorbachev or Andrei Gromyko. And on June 28 the head of the PM's administration Powell mentioned the names of only two members of the Politburo - Aliyev and Gorbachev.

However, in his letter to Thatcher, Oxford University professor, known sovietologist Archie Brown recommended to invite Gorbachev. 'I noticed him in 1978, when he was appointed Secretary of the Central Committee. A special interest to Gorbachev appeared after a conversation with his friend, Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia Zdenek Mlynar, who had fled to the West. They studied together at the Moscow State University. To my question as to the views of Gorbachev, Mlynar said that he was open to new ideas, intelligent and committed to the anti-Stalinist views. In our opinion, this was an unusual set of qualities for the Brezhnev team. Since then I started to pay close attention to Gorbachev,' says Professor Archie Brown.

So, the British opted for Gorbachev and invited him not along the party line, but as a Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Commission on Foreign Affairs.

In London, Gorbachev and Yakovlev had a tête-à-tête meeting with Thatcher... According to interlocutors of teh documentary it was the first inspection of Gorbachev in the West.

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