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MPs call for sanctions on UK ‘second family’ of Sergei Lavrov

The daughter of Sergei Lavrov’s alleged mistress should be among the family members of Vladimir Putin’s associates targeted with sanctions, MPs and campaigners have said.

The Russian foreign minister’s “second family”, including Svetlana Polyakova, his alleged mistress, and Polina Kovaleva, her 26-year-old daughter, were identified as among those officials should look at, the Daily Telegraph reported.

As Roman Abramovich was added to the sanction list on Thursday, MPs questioned why the government’s list was still dwarfed by the hundreds of individuals and entities sanctioned by the EU and the US.

Layla Moran MP, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for foreign affairs and international development, told the Daily Telegraph: “The government is still way behind the EU and the US. The legislation hasn’t passed yet, so if they can act against Abramovich now, why not the others?”

Moran called for action against 35 named “key enablers” of Putin in the House of Commons last month, including Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska, who was also added to the UK sanction list on Thursday.

But many others on that list have been sanctioned in the EU or US but not in the UK.

This includes Viktor Zolotov, the head of Russia’s national guard whose family is one of the richest in Russia in the real estate sector; Anton Vaino, Putin’s chief of staff; and Mikhail Mishustin, the Russian prime minister.

Moran told the Telegraph that officials should also look at “the family and friends” of Putin’s associates, as “one of the ways that they get around sanctions is to transfer funds and assets to family members”.

“They should be included in the list and ideally it should be automatic,” she said.

Maria Pevchikh, the head of investigations at Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, named members of Lavrov’s family including Polyakova and Kovaleva, who owns a flat in Kensington, west London, as those who should have their assets frozen, the Telegraph reported. Her calls were backed by MP Chris Bryant.

Polyakova, an actor and restaurateur, is reported to have been in a relationship with Lavrov since the early 2000s and documents unearthed by the foundation show she has been abroad with the foreign minister more than 60 times, including on diplomatic missions.

Her family’s lifestyle and growing multi-million-pound property portfolio is alleged to have been bankrolled by her lover. Kovaleva’s now-deleted Instagram account shows her relaxing on a yacht owned by Deripaska.


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