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Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov took secret mistress abroad 60 times on 'diplomatic' missions

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took his millionaire mistress abroad more than 60 times on 'diplomatic missions' and bankrolled her luxury lifestyle, a new report from Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's team has revealed. 

Actress and restaurateur Svetlana Polyakova, who has held a position in the Russian Foreign Ministry since 2014, has a 'long-standing and very close' relationship with Lavrov.  

She has travelled with the Lavrov, who is married and has a daughter, to France, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Singapore, Portugal, and Greece, and used the foreign ministry's plane frequently in the last seven years.  

Some of trips included luxury holidays and visits to opulent houses, and yachts - among them a ship owned by oligarch Oleg Deripaska - with the couple, in some instances, joined by Polyakova's mother, daughters, and niece.

Lavrov's mistress has also engineered senior appointments for friends and family within the foreign ministry, appeared publicly alongside President Vladimir Putin and has been named among his elite entourage, according to the report. 

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (centre) took his millionaire mistress Svetlana Polyakova (right) abroad more than 60 times on 'diplomatic missions' and bankrolled her luxury lifestyle

Little is known about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's wife Maria (left) and daughter Ekaterina (centre) 

Navalny's team's report, published yesterday and titled 'Yachts, bribes and a mistress. What is Minister Lavrov hiding', is a follow-up to iStories' bombshell investigation released on Tuesday.

It found Polyakova was so close to the foreign minister some people listed her contact information as 'Svetlana Lavrova' - with some government officials even believing she was Lavrov's wife.

Sources said foreign ministry officials who disagreed with Polyakova were forced over of the department.   

The investigation also uncovered Polyakova's extraordinary wealth and family properties across Russia and the UK worth $13.6billion. 

The mistress also owns at least $545,000 in luxury cars, including a Mercedes worth $274,758.

Polyakova appeared alongside Lavrov at St Sergius of Radonezh Russian orthodox church in December 2014 and since then much of the couple's opulent lifestyle was documented on the Instagram on Polyakova's 26-year-old daughter, Polina. 

Polyakova appeared alongside Lavrov at St Sergius of Radonezh Russian orthodox church in December 2014 and has since shared an opulent lifestyle with the foreign minister

It comes as Russians head to the polls over the weekend to elect a new parliament in a vote widely presumed to be fixed.

Ruling party United Russia are expected to win the election, despite seeing popularity plummet after a crackdown on opposition such as Alexei Navalny. 

The jailed Kremlin critic's team had hoped to encourage Russians to vote tactically and deal a blow to United Russia with an app available on Google and Apple app stores. 

But pressure from the Kremlin saw the apps dropped by both sites ahead of the three-day election starting today, sparking accusations of political meddling.    

Ivan Zhdanov, a Navalny ally based abroad, said today the removal amounted to political censorship and described it as 'a shameful act' that would 'thrill' Russia's 'authoritarian government and propaganda'. 

The move was welcomed by the Kremlin.  

Russia had threatened to fine Apple and Google if they refused to remove the app, claiming it contained material illegal in the country because Navalny's organisation has been designated 'extremist'. 

'We are writing to notify you that your application will be removed from the Russia App Store because it includes content that is illegal in Russia,' the letter from Apple said.  

Apple and Google have come under fire for political meddling after they both removed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's tactical voting app from their stores under pressure from the Kremlin

Allies of Navalny planned to use the mobile app (pictured) to organise a tactical voting campaign to deal a blow to United Russia, which is expected to win the election

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