In March 1987, as Professor Robert Service records in his new account of the end of the Cold War, Margaret Thatcher visited Moscow. She had been reluctant to do so, largely out of fear that such a visit would only make it easier for a credulous Reagan — as she saw him — to offer Gorbachev even more concessions. She had also been worried that it would produce nothing for British interests.
Her hesitation to travel to Russia, let alone, as her advisers had urged, solicit an invitation, was perhaps surprising. She and Gorbachev had got on famously — shoes off, in front of a blazing fire — when she had entertained him, then only the Politburo member responsible for agriculture, at Chequers just before Christmas 1984.