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The Insider researched the real estate owned by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and found that its total value is nearly 600 million rubles. This is substantially more than the minister could afford with his family's declared income. 

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Sergei Lavrov's country house, discovered by The Insider, is located in the elite suburban community Landshaft, in the village of Zhukovka (bordering on Barvikha). It is a 499 m² white three-story mansion on a 28.4-hectare land plot. The house and the land plot were first declared in 2014 (and, apparently, were bought at that time, although the right of ownership over the house was not registered until 2015). The size of the house and the land plot fully match the parameters of the property listed in the minister's official tax declaration, but the amount of declared earnings is much less than the value of the house. From 2008 to 2014, according to official data, Lavrov and his wife Maria had been earning together nearly 4.5 million rubles a year on average. According to ads on real estate sales websites, a house in the Landshaft community can be bought at a price that starts from 300 million rubles. For example, a 670 square meter house on a 29-hectare land plot costs 335 million rubles. That's how much it's worth, given that luxury real properties on Rublevka dropped in price after 2014, and some cottages in Landshaft ended up 50% cheaper in 2019 than they were in 2014. But even assuming that the Lavrovs bought their mansion for 300 million, the price they paid would be the equivalent of their annual income for 66 years (provided they didn't spend money on anything else).

According to Rosreestr (Federal Registration Service), Lavrov's neighbor is Jahangir Makhmudov, the son of Iskander Makhmudov, a well-known oligarch with ties to the Izmailovo criminal group.

Lavrov's house (circled in red) and Makhmudov's house (circled in blue)
Lavrov's house (circled in red) and Makhmudov's house (circled in blue)

The community in question is not an easy place to live. For example, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich bought a house there after his escape. According to extracts from the Federal Register of Real Estate, 17 houses and land plots in the community are owned by the Russian Federation (which is usually how government and security officials conceal information about their properties from the public), and another five properties are altogether absent from the official register for some reason.

But the mansion in Zhukovka is not the only real property the minister owns. He also owns a 247.3 square meter apartment in the luxury apartment complex at 3 Shvedsky Lane, according to the available extracts. He shares the 11-story brick building, also known as the «House of Putin's Friends,» with other celebrities such as Ivan Timchenko, son of businessman Gennady Timchenko, Sergei Chemezov, head of Rostech, and Marina Sechina, former wife of Rosneft's CEO. The penthouse on the top floor is owned by Konstantin Ernst (unless he's already sold that apartment).

The living area in Lavrov's apartment also matches the one indicated in the tax declarations. But the value of that apartment may be even higher than that of the house on Rublevka. As of this writing, CIAN has listed only a single apartment for sale in that house: you can buy a 288 m² 6-room apartment on the 10th floor for 312 million rubles.

According to official documents, the apartment was given to the minister by his daughter Ekaterina back in 2007. Currently she is the wife of a businessman Alexander Vinokurov, president of the investment company Marathon Group and former president of Summa Group. Yet at the time of the gift Ekaterina was 25 years old, she was getting her master's degree and was not engaged in any business.

Officially, Lavrov's daughter received the apartment under a swap agreement with a certain Igor Valerianovich Novikov, who at the time was a security guard at the Soglasiye-SB private security company. Since then, the life of the private security guard has improved and now he is the general director of two companies: Svoboda CJSC and Soglasie-Innovative Technologies. The latter is owned by Vardan Khachatryan, a businessman engaged in hotel business. The Insider plans to write about Lavrov's links to hotel business in a future investigation.

The total value of Lavrov's real estate, which he came to own by 2014, may exceed 600 million rubles. Given that his salary as the UN representative could hardly have been higher than that of a minister (about 4.5 million rubles), the diplomat would have had to spend over a hundred years saving money for such a purchase. The Insider asked the Foreign Ministry for an explanation of this paradox and got a following answer: «Sergey Lavrov's property and income over his 50-year career, as well as the legal actions related to his property, have been declared and documented in strict compliance with Russian law.» This, however, is not an answer to the question that The Insider asked.

Written with the participation of Alisa Zemlyanskaya

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