NEWS

Cyprus to revoke passports of four sanctioned Russians

Cyprus to revoke passports of four sanctioned Russians

Cyprus will revoke the passports of four sanctioned Russians who had received citizenship under an investment scheme discontinued in late 2020, government sources said on Thursday.

The names of the individuals were not disclosed, but they are on a list of more than 800 people sanctioned by the European Union in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and considered to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was due to address Cyprus’s parliament at 1500 GMT on Thursday.

One source confirmed a report which appeared on the website of the Politis newspaper that the total number of passports which would be revoked was 21, including dependents of the sanctioned Russians.

Cyprus gave citizenship to 2,886 Russian nationals, among them investors and their families, over a period from 2007 to August 2020.

They were among 6,779 people who received citizenship for a minimum 2 million euro ($2.18 million) investment. A later commission of inquiry found the scheme had run in a legal vacuum for more than a decade without adequate oversight.

More than half of the passports were issued unlawfully, the commission said. In October, authorities said they would be revoking passports from 45 individuals. [Reuters]