The European Commission has asked European Member States to “immediately revoke” the citizenship-by-investment regimes, golden passports, and control the residency regimes, golden visas, programs due to the “increased risks” due to the Ukraine war.
At issue is a recommendation in which “the Commission urges Member States to immediately revoke any existing investor citizenship schemes and to ensure that strong checks are in place to address the risks posed by investor residency schemes”, according to information sent to the press.
At a time of intense armed confrontation in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion, and in a context in which many Russian oligarchs linked to President Vladimir Putin are beneficiaries of these schemes in the community space, Brussels points out that “it has frequently and consistently raised its serious concerns about citizenship for investors and residency schemes, and the inherent risks they pose”.
“The current context of Russian aggression against Ukraine is, once again, highlighting these risks”, stresses the community executive.
Recalling that “some Russian or Belarusian citizens who are subject to sanctions or who significantly support the war in Ukraine may have acquired European citizenship or privileged access to the EU” under these regimes, the European Commission calls on European countries to face “the immediate risks” withdrawing any concessions to these oligarchs.
The institution also asks interested Member States to submit, by the end of May, a report on the implementation of this recommendation and to keep the Commission informed.