MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated UK double agent George Blake who worked for the Soviet Union and the KGB with his 90th birthday, the Kremlin press office reported on its website on Sunday.
“Let me heartily congratulate you with your 90th birthday. You rightly belong to the group of strong and courageous people and brilliant professionals,” reads the congratulatory letter.
“In any circumstances, you always demonstrated self-possession, readiness for responsible and tense work and serious trials, and always successfully implemented the tasks assigned to you. You and your colleagues have made a big contribution to preserving peace, ensuring security and strategic parity,” the letter said.
Blake has lived in Russia since his escape from the British prison in 1966.
During more than a decade of his work for the British Secret Intelligence Service, Blake passed a lot of secrets to the KGB that helped the Soviets unmask a number of UK agents and foil many British plans. One of the biggest operations he foiled was a Western plan to build a tunnel under East Berlin to eavesdrop on Soviet communications.
In 1961, Blake was exposed by a Polish defector and jailed for 42 years in prison for espionage. He escaped from Wormwood Scrubs prison in London five years later and fled to East Germany and then to Russia.
The Russian media has reported Blake planned to celebrate his 90th anniversary in his house outside Moscow watching a film prepared for his birthday by the Zvezda TV Channel run by Russia’s Defense Ministry.