Vladimir Gruzdev, governor of the central Russian Tula region, is likely to be the richest governor in the country with a combined family income of over 3.8 billion rubles ($130.1 million) in 2011, Vedomosti business daily reported on Tuesday.
The governors of all Russian regions must present their income declarations by April 30 by government order. Gruzdev's declaration, obtained by Vedomosti, shows he earned 3.7 billion rubles, while his wife Olga earned 182 million rubles.
Gruzdev made the bulk of his earnings last year after he sold his 21.3 percent stake in Seventh Continent, one of Russia's biggest grocery store chains, to core owner Alexander Zanadvorov in 2010. Gruzdev received the bulk of the funds for his stake in 2011. Experts estimated the deal at $400 million.
Yelena Panfilova, head of Transparency International Russia, told the paper Gruzdev came to the governor's office from business and there are no questions about the origins of his high income, in contrast to a sharp increase in the earnings of many officials with considerable experience.
Panfilova also said there was no standard form for such declarations so the incomes of various governors are difficult to compare.