Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Britain Calls Out Russia’s Top Diplomat for Secret Family

Britain’s latest round of sanctions against Russia has gone above and beyond simple financial punishment, airing a bit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s dirty laundry in the process. In its list of the 65 new individuals and organizations targeted for “aiding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the British Foreign Office appears to have made a point to call out Lavrov’s “secret family” in London, with its inclusion of Polina Kovalev, whom it describes as his stepdaughter. Kovalev’s inclusion on the list appears to confirm exhaustive reporting by Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny’s team that Lavrov, 71, has been living a “double life” for nearly two decades. One that includes a “secret wife,” identified by Navalny’s allies as Svetlana Polyakova, an actress and a restaurateur with sway in Russia’s Foreign Ministry. (https://news.yahoo.com/britain-calls-russia-top-diplomat-103815930.html) Polina Kovaleva is reportedly Polyakova’s daughter from an earlier marriage. She is said to reside in a lavish Kensington apartment she purchased for £4.4 million ($5.8 million) at the age of 21. British lawmakers had pushed for her to be added to the list of targeted individuals this month, arguing that she could be used to evade sanctions. Lavrov himself is already blacklisted by both the U.S. and U.K.

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