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POLITICS

Killer cereal: Russian intelligence chief sells groats to NATO despite war

The Director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, is regarded as one of the most vehement critics of the West among the country's leadership. He points an accusing finger at Europe for what he perceives as a proliferation of moral decay and at the USA for pursuing a neo-colonial agenda, pledging to advocate for “new principles of global order.” Curiously, this stance doesn't hinder his family from not only enjoying vacations in the West but also engaging in trade with NATO countries and selling agricultural produce (despite Naryshkin himself being sanctioned, the business is registered to his relatives). Notably, one of their key trading partners is Auchan, a company that, despite its French ownership, supplied goods to the Russian military.

A significant business asset within the Naryshkin family portfolio is Agro-Alliance, a major supplier of cereals. Initially, a stake in this enterprise was held by the intelligence chief's daughter, Veronika Naryshkina, but last year it was formally transferred to Svetlana Naryshkina, the daughter-in-law of the chief of SVR.

Agro-Alliance is an LLC where the Naryshkin family commands a 27.15% stake, demonstrating a commendable track record. In the preceding year, the company reported a turnover of 19.3 billion rubles ($201.1 million) and a net profit of 396 million rubles ($4.1 million). The company is engaged in trading a variety of goods including rice, buckwheat, beans, semolina, flakes, and pasta, among others.

The company owned by the Naryshkin family distributes its products to prominent retail chains, including Auchan, which, despite its French ownership, supports the Russian military. Predictably, they are also involved in government contracts. Agro-Alliance sells grains to Russian colonies and prisons, making tens of millions from these transactions. Just in the early months of this year, the company secured 8 contracts for supplying wheat and barley to institutions under the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) in Yakutia, Kuzbass, Primorsky Krai, Novosibirsk, and Murmansk regions.

However, as uncovered by The Insider, the Naryshkin family's interests extend beyond the domestic Russian market. Agro-Alliance exports grains to the United States, Canada, the European Union, Israel, and other nations.

For instance, two firms based in New York, Zenith Foods LLC and Krasnyi Oktyabr Inc., purchase grains from Naryshkin. Last year alone Agro-Alliance shipped over 113 tons of products to the USA.

The Naryshkin family's Canadian partner is East-West Foods Distribution Inc. During the last year, this Canadian company acquired over 51 tons of grains from Agro-Alliance. In Germany, Agro-Alliance collaborates with Posylka.de GmbH, in Georgia with Mziuri LLC, and in Israel with Kogan Petr Kappi.

Unlike Sergey Naryshkin himself, members of his family are not subject to Western sanctions. Veronika, the daughter of the head of the SVR, as previously reported by The Insider, enjoys vacations in Italy, Greece, and other NATO countries. Andrey Naryshkin, the son, managed to obtain a Hungarian residence permit. According to The Insider's findings, the son's wife, Svetlana, to whom the business is now registered, has flown to Europe at least thirty times over the last eight years, visiting Zurich, Vienna, Larnaca, Paris, Budapest, Thessaloniki, Geneva, Warsaw, Munich, Kaunas, Riga, Berlin, and Brussels.

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