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Trutnev Declares Highest Income

Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev -- the scourge of foreign energy investors -- earned more than any other Cabinet member last year and 22 times more than British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Transportation Minister Igor Levitin and IT and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman placed second and third, while Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref came in last.

Trutnev earned the ruble equivalent of $7.9 million, almost double his previous year's income, according to an annual list of ministerial income declarations published Friday in government-owned Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Trutnev wore swank Prada shoes -- with the signature red stripe on the back -- even as he slogged through mud to inspect construction of the Sakhalin-2 oil project on Wednesday. Trutnev has threatened to put the brakes on Sakhalin-2, the country's largest foreign investment project, and other foreign-owned oil and gas projects during an ongoing state drive to secure more control over the energy sector.

Trutnev, a former Perm region governor, said he had received most of the money as dividends from a stake in a Perm company, EKS.

"Dividend payments on the shares peaked last year," he said Friday at a news conference, where he also reported the results of his inspection of Sakhalin-2 earlier in the week.

EKS controls a chain of supermarkets called Semya, or Family, in the city of Perm and the surrounding region. EKS is thought to be majority-owned by the current Perm governor, Oleg Chirkunov.

Trutnev did not disclose the size of his stake.

Civil servants are not required to surrender stakes in private businesses under the law on state service, which came into effect in 2004.

Trutnev generated most of his 2004 income of $3.9 million by selling a stake in EKS International Trading, an export and import business that he founded, Vedomosti reported in January.

Trutnev out-earned not only his fellow ministers but also Western ones last year. The average U.S. Cabinet member earned $172,000, while British Prime Minister Tony Blair collects ?185,771 ($350,717) per year.

Levitin, the next-largest cash earner on the list, trailed far behind Trutnev with a declared income of $446,482. The transportation minister declared an income of $5 million the previous year.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Timur Khikmatov said only Levitin could comment on why his income had dropped so steeply. Levitin could not be reached Friday.

Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov's income fell even more, from $1.5 million in 2004 to $44,385 last year. The reason for the decrease was unclear.

The third-largest 2005 income -- Reiman's -- was $410,800, an increase of about $80,000 compared to 2004. Reiman earlier this year denied findings by a Zurich tribunal that he was the sole beneficiary of a Bermuda-based investment fund called IPOC, which has stakes in Russian telecom assets including cellular operators MegaFon and SkyLink.

Gref declared the smallest income, $44,200.

Of all Cabinet members, Reiman declared the most property: More than 20,000 square meters of land, five apartments -- up from four the previous year -- and a spacious country house. He owns a stake in one more apartment and also has a government apartment.

Zurabov is the second-biggest landlord and the owner of a huge country mansion of 1,360 square meters. His land holdings doubled year on year.

Zurabov's declaration puzzled Yelena Panfilova, director of the Russia branch of international corruption watchdog Transparency International. "How can someone with an income like this maintain such a country house and pay the taxes?" she said.

The incomes of most other ministers were consistent with their salaries, which range from $3,000 to $10,000, Panfilova said.

However, Cabinet ministers may have received other revenues and hidden them by making their relatives, close associates or affiliate companies the official beneficiaries, Panfilova said.

Apart from Trutnev, just one other minister shed some light on a source of his income.

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev received payments for unspecified "scientific work," Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev was absent from the list. Calls to Cabinet spokesman Yevgeny Revenko went unanswered Friday.

President Vladimir Putin's income was not on the list. Under a 2004 decree setting state salaries for top civil servants, the president's annual salary is 1.76 million rubles ($65,680).

Ministers 2005 Incomes

Yury Chaika
Then-justice minister and now prosecutor general
Income: 1.4 million rubles ($51,000)

Mikhail Fradkov
Prime minister
Income: 1.8 million rubles ($69,000)
Dacha land: 1,466 sq.m.*
Dacha: 325 sq.m.*

Alexei Kudrin
Finance minister
Income: 1.3 million rubles ($48,000)

Andrei Fursenko
Education and science minister
Income: 1.9 million rubles ($69,000)
Land: 1,478 sq.m.*
House: 124 sq.m.; 32 sq.m.*
Apartment: 144 sq.m.***

Alexei Gordeyev
Agriculture minister
Income: 1.6 million rubles ($60,000)
Apartment: 150 sq.m.**
Two-car garage: 16 sq.m.**

German Gref
Economic development and trade minister
Income: 1.2 million rubles ($44,000)
Land: 1,500 sq.m.*
Land: 5,500 sq.m.***

Sergei Ivanov
Deputy prime minister, defense minister
Income: 1.7 million rubles ($63,000)
Apartment: 257 sq.m.**

Viktor Khristenko
Industry and energy minister
Income: 1.4 million rubles ($52,000)
Land: 1,700 sq.m.*
House under construction: 184 sq.m.*

Sergei Lavrov
Foreign minister
Income: 2.1 million rubles ($79,000)
Dacha land: 1,200 sq.m.*
Dacha: 210 sq.m.*
Garage: 10 sq.m.
Apartment: 163 sq.m.***

Igor Levitin
Transportation minister
Income: 12 million rubles ($446,482)
Land: 3,343 sq.m.**
Dacha: 544 sq.m.**
One-car garage: 15 sq.m.**
Apartment: 118 sq.m.**

Dmitry Medvedev
First deputy prime minister
Income: 2.2 million rubles ($82,714)
Land: 9,500 sq.m.*
House: 318 sq.m.*
Dacha: 147 sq.m.*
Apartment: 96 sq.m.**

Sergei Naryshkin
Cabinet chief of staff
Income: 1.4 million rubles ($52,000)
Land: 1,200 sq.m.***
House: 36 sq.m.*
Apartment: 139 sq.m.***

Leonid Reiman
IT and communications minister
Income: 11 million rubles ($410,800)
Land: 21,184 sq.m.*
Dacha: 330 sq.m.*
Seven apartments: 264*, 284*, 251*, 195*, 55**, 229*** sq.m.
Two-car garage: 33 sq.m.*
Garage: 39 sq.m.*

Sergei Shoigu
Emergency situations minister
Income: 1.3 million rubles ($48,000)
Land: 7,434 sq.m.*
House: 477 sq.m.*

Alexander Sokolov
Culture and press minister
Income: 1.3 million rubles ($48,000)
Land: 1,200 sq.m.*
Apartment: 47 sq.m.*
One-car garage (cooperative)

Yury Trutnev
Natural resources minister
Income: 211.4 million rubles ($7.9 million)
Land: 4,400 sq.m.*
House: 95 sq.m.*
Two-car garage***

Vladimir Yakovlev
Regional development minister
Income: 1.2 million rubles ($44,000)
Apartment: 161 sq.m.*

Alexander Zhukov
Deputy prime minister
Income: 1.3 million rubles ($48,000)
Dacha land: 3,817 sq.m.**
House: 308 sq.m.**

Mikhail Zurabov
Health and social development minister
Income: 1.2 million rubles ($44,385)
Land: 9,500 sq.m.*
House: 318 sq.m.*
Dacha: 1,359 sq.m.*
Apartment: 96 sq.m.**

* self-owned,
** co-owned,
*** state-owned

Source: Rossiiskaya Gazeta

(The Moscow Times 30.x.06)

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