Cot, Pierre

(1895–1977)
   Cot, who served in six French cabinets as minister of aviation, was first recruited by the NKVD in the 1930s.
   The relationship was renewed in 1943 in Washington, where Cot reportedly approached American Communist Party boss Earl Browder and was put in contact with Soviet intelligence officers. An intercepted message indicated that Browder contacted NKVD foreign intelligence chief Pavel Fitin about the approach. NKVD rezident Vasily Zarubin personally ran Cot, a member of Charles de Gaulle’s Free French administration. Cot, codenamed “Daedalus,” provided Moscow with details about the Gaullist movement. He also collaborated with agents of the French Communist Party and the Comintern. One cable to Moscow read: “Daedalus will obey unquestionably.” In 1944 Cot was sent to Moscow as de Gaulle’s personal emissary to Joseph Stalin. Following the war, Cot served again as minister of aviation and remained a staunch supporter of strong Soviet–French relations. In 1953 he received the Stalin Peace prize. He was never prosecuted for espionage.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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