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Dialogue with NATO

Believe it or not, even at the very height of the Cold War, there was no hotline between NATO HQ and Moscow. That meant there was no way of them communicating if there was a nuclear accident or an unintended missile firing. I know because in 1986, with the first lady of Greece, we began to take women politicians from E. and W. Europe into the HQ of NATO in Brussels for Dialogue with NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organisation. Despite the fact that we were highly informed, non-combative and well-known, it took a year to get appointments with the generals and ambassadors representing our own countries.

NATO generals and policy-makers were very shocked, because they had never met women leaders except Mrs Thatcher, let alone women from the Eastern bloc! Finally we were able to have conversations with Mikhail Gorbachev, Robert MacNamara, Lord Carrington. Eventually the needed hot-line was set up.