In November 1991, in her speech in Houston, ex-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said that ‘according to the estimates of the world community, it is economically feasible for only 15 million people to live in Russia.
Margaret Thatcher did deliver a speech in Houston that year to representatives of the oil industry, and the New York Times published an article about it. However, the speech was about environmental concerns and regulations and did not mention Russia.
The “quote” cited by the Russian Foreign Ministry actually comes from a Russian-language book by Andrey Parshev called "Why Russia is Not America."
Parshev claimed to have heard an audio recording of the speech, but has never provided any evidence for his claim. He has also several times changed the quote he allegedly “heard.” Most recently, he claimed Thatcher said that only 15 million people in the Soviet Union were employed in the most efficient sector of its economy. Further debunking by Polygraph.info.