Russian spy chief’s wife makes a mysterious trip to Paris

Tatyana Naryshkina, Sergey Naryshkin’s wife, was last seen in Paris, according to French media. If she is not subject to European penalties, her husband is on a list of individuals banned from entering the Schengen area since 2014.

Naryshkin has been on the sanctions list since the annexation of Crimea

Her car stands out: black, imposing, and wealthy Mercedes S-class with green license plates, as is typical with diplomatic vehicles. According to Le Parisien, it is the only object visible on the damp pavement of central Paris on this late April 10 that is as peaceful as an Easter Monday. 

Tatyana Naryshkina is the wife of Sergey Naryshkin, the chief of Russian foreign intelligence (SVR) and KGB heir, who was not present. Mrs Naryshkina, according to Russian reports, spent a few days on the Côte d’Azur before traveling to Paris. The French media were intrigued by her presence. 

Questions about the goals of Naryshkina’s trip to France

“Imagine Tatyana Naryshkina comes in to conduct her shopping… “The fact that she is traveling in a diplomatic car raises many questions,” says Cécile Vaissié, professor at the University of Rennes-II and author of Les Réseaux du Kremlin en France. 

“Is the wife of Russia’s foreign intelligence chief there to see people?” To settle a business matter? “While the European sanctions system appears to be solid, the presence of the wife of such a high-level leader demonstrates that there are many holes in the system,” explains Cécile Vaissié.

Sergey Naryshkin, a personal buddy of Vladimir Putin, has been barred from entering European territory since the takeover of Crimea in 2014. A prohibition that does not have any effect on him. Thus, shortly after the annexation of Crimea, he met a delegation of business leaders – such as Dassault, Total, and GDF-Suez – and deputies, loyal friends of Russian power, in Paris, under the guise of a visit to the Council of Europe, according to the newspaper Le Monde at the time.

Sergey Naryshkin as a tool in the Russian disinformation campaign

Sergey Naryshkin is a former operative of Vladimir Putin’s generation. He has ascended every rung of power alongside the president. He was the head of the presidential administration, then the Duma’s deputy and president, and lastly, the chief spy of Russia at the time of Moscow’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

The head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service is frequently used in the Russian disinformation campaign. In March, Sergey Naryshkin issued an absurd announcement claiming that Poland sought to capture parts of western Ukraine. 

Consider that it has been said at a time when Russia has been continuing its offensive, and its troops are on Ukrainian territories. At the same time, Poland provides weapons to the Ukrainian army and shelter to Ukrainian refugees. 

Unfortunately, because Mr Naryshkin is the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, he was quoted by numerous foreign media outlets, and this disinformation went throughout the world.

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