BILLIONAIRES linked to Gazprom, the Russian gas giant blamed for Europe’s supply crisis, have snapped up a string of UK mansions.
Andrey Goncharenko, 48, was chief executive of a Gazprom subsidiary when he bought four properties in London over the past decade worth £260million.
They include the UK’s most expensive townhouse — £120million Hanover Lodge near Regent’s Park — plus £70million 50 St James Street in Mayfair.
Homes he appears to have sold include a £15million pad in Eaton Place and a £41million mansion in Hampstead. Goncharenko has recently been involved with SK Horizont which helped build a processing plant for Gazprom.
Meanwhile Kazakh oligarch and Gazprom director Timur Kulibayev, 55, bought Prince Andrew’s marital home Sunninghill Park for £15million — £3m over the asking price.
The Queen gifted Andrew the property in Ascot, Berks, in 1986.
It went on the market in 2002 and sold in 2007. A four-vehicle garage, sun deck and kids’ play area have all been added in a major refurb.
Viktor Zubkov, 80, chair of the Gazprom board, served as Russian PM for eight months from September 2007.
The Sun on Sunday understands his granddaughter Natalia has opted to study at a top university in England.
The International Energy Agency this week warned that gas supplies out of Russia were being restricted.
Britain relies on the country for around one per cent of its supplies. But the market share in Europe is expected to stay above 30 per cent, rising to 40 per cent by 2040.
A Whitehall source said: “Unlike the UK, the continent is drunk on Russian gas. It’s obvious Moscow is choking off supply and pushing up costs to force EU states to approve new pipelines.”
But Sergey Komlev, head of contract structuring at Gazprom Export, said it was absurd to accuse the firm of under-supplying Europe.