Caribbean states nix ‘golden passport’ program for rich Russians | Inquirer News

Caribbean states nix ‘golden passport’ program for rich Russians

/ 11:51 AM March 10, 2022
dominica caribbean

The sun set over the Caribbean Sea near St Joseph, Dominica. AFP FILE PHOTO

POINT-À-PITRE, France — Several Caribbean countries are canceling programs in which people from Russia and Belarus can buy citizenship for large sums, AFP has learned, as yet more nations punish Moscow for invading Ukraine.

These countries include Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, and in some cases even Ukrainians are being barred from these so-called citizenship by investment (CBI) programs.

ADVERTISEMENT

Under them, people can obtain passports by paying the government at least $100,000 or by investing around $200,000 in government-run real estate development projects.

On the tiny island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean, for instance, in an email to officials tasked with recruiting rich investors from the coordinator of the program, Emmanuel Nanthan, said scheme is suspended effective immediately “in light of the current conflict in Ukraine” but also to preserve “the credibility” of the program.

FEATURED STORIES

In Saint Lucia, “our banking system no longer allows transfers of funds from Russia,” the CBI service there said.

“However we will deal with fund transfer requests from bank accounts outside Russia,” it added.

Charmaine Donovan, who runs the CBI service in Antigua and Barbuda, said it has been suspended there, too, for people from Russia and its ally Belarus.

“It is a matter of remaining consistent with the foreign policy position of Antigua and Barbuda,” said Donovan.

Caribbean island states were among 141 UN member countries that have condemned the Russian invasion of its pro-Western neighbor Ukraine starting on February 24.

The regional grouping called the Caribbean Community (Caricom) met this month in Belize and also condemned the attack unanimously, but it did not approve any joint sanctions, leaving this up to individual members.

In 2020 the prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, said the CBI program there had brought in the equivalent of $440 million in revenue.

ADVERTISEMENT

He said the money was used to pay off debt but also to build housing that is more resistant to extreme weather stemming from climate change.

RELATED STORIES

Russia’s war in Ukraine: Latest developments

Battleground Ukraine: Day 14 of Russia’s invasion

France to send Ukraine drugs including iodine tablets

Pentagon estimates 2,000-4,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Caribbean, citizenship, Conflict, Russia, Ukraine
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.