It has emerged that Katia Zatuliveter, who has been accused of spying for Russia and is currently fighting deportation from Britain, not only had an affair with British MP Mike Hancock, but also had affairs with a senior German diplomat working at NATO and a Dutch diplomat.
A clear pattern is emerging – Zatuliveter has, or is alleged to have, had affairs with senior politicians and diplomats each with an interest in Russian affairs and/or European security.
- Hancock, of course, had a keen interest in Russian affairs as the head of the British Parliament’s All Party Group on Russia and was also a member of Parliament’s Defence Select Committee.
- The German NATO official, who a British court has ordered cannot be named, was also a specialist in Russian affairs – a 56 year old grandfather who, according to RIA Novosti, “specialized in security issues covering Russia and Europe“. (An amusing aside – the only known picture of this diplomat, which I’ve published here, has him dressed in a banana suit with his face censored.)
- And the Dutch diplomat, who also cannot be named, is reported by the Telegraph to have worked in both Moscow and St Petersburg.
British newspaper the Daily Telegraph broke the story, after their request to the court hearing Zatuliveter’s case to be able to name the two European diplomats was rejected on the, frankly, rather odd basis of preventing possible damage to “international relations”.
The importance of this news is difficult to assess at the moment. Although British MP Hancock resigned from the Defence Select Committee last month after compelling evidence was produced of his sexual relationship with Zatuliveter, the careers of the other two diplomats don’t seem to have suffered as much. Both are still employed by their respective foreign ministries – the German diplomat has since been promoted and the Dutch diplomat now works as an advisor to the Dutch Royal Family. It may be because they are less in the public eye than Hancock, but could also be because there is not much truth to the allegations – perhaps Zatuliveter is simply someone who happens to attracted to older men who employ her and who happens to be Russian working in the field of European security and politics at a time when paranoia about Russian spies is reaching new heights.
Regardless, Zatuliveter’s case drags on into its second year, bringing into question why the British Government finds it so difficult to deport people it thinks are spies.