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Say hello to the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service. His son's family apparently tried to buy Hungarian residency for 360,000 euros.

16:21, 10 september 2018

Sergey Naryshkin

Alexander Ryumin / TASS / Vida Press

Sergey Naryshkin, the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, apparently belongs to that select group of state officials with relatives who have applied for residency in Hungary in exchange for investing at least 360,000 euros ($418,000) in government bonds. That’s one finding in a new joint report by the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, the Hungarian investigative center Direkt36, and the news portal 444, which matched the names and birth dates Naryshkin’s family to official records.

Naryshkin’s relatives apparently applied for residence papers under Hungary’s “golden visa” program, which operated from 2013 until 2017. The documents link back to Andrey Sergeevich Naryshkin (the full name of the Foreign Intelligence Service director’s son) and his son’s wife, Svetlana Naryshkina, and their two daughters. Novaya Gazeta doesn’t specify when these applications were filed, or whether the residence permits were granted, but the newspaper says the Naryshkins have been in Hungary since 2015. It remains unclear, however, when exactly or how many times they have visited.

Before 2013, Andrey Naryshkin worked for the state corporation FGC UES (Russia’s largest electricity transmission company grid), but his position wasn’t especially high paying, and he hasn’t been an entrepreneur for several years, making it unclear how we was able to raise the 360,000 euros for the Hungarian golden visa investment. In the early 2000s, Andrey Naryshkin owned half of two trading companies in St. Petersburg that were founded in the 1990s. The other half of these businesses belonged to Evgeny Gilani, who was arrested in 2014 for his involvement in drug trafficking and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Nothing has been reported about Svetlana Naryshkin’s earnings.

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service is refusing to comment on the investigative report, and the Naryshkins are ignoring journalists’ messages.

The Naryshkins wouldn’t be Russia’s only high-placed family who tried to take advantage of Hungary’s golden visas. According to Novaya Gazeta, the list includes the following individuals:

  • Evgeny Evstratov, the former deputy head of the “Rosatom” state corporation
  • Vladimir Blotssky, Communist Party State Duma deputy
  • Ilyaz Muslimov, former State Duma deputy and current adviser to the governor of Volgograd
  • Andrey Kalmykov, CEO of the “Pobeda” airline
  • Alexey Yankevich, board member at Gazprom Neft
  • The wife of Alexander Sukhoruchenko, who heads the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Main Directorate for Servicing the Diplomatic Corps
  • Elena Sagal, former senator
  • Evgeniya Tyurikova, head of Sberbank Private Banking
  • Sergey Vorobyov, member of the supervisory board for the Presidential Agency for Strategic Initiatives
  • Yuri Eroshin, board of directors member at TGK No. 1
  • Dmitry Pavlov, businessman