'Golden Passports' given to Russians canceled

The "Golden Passports" given to Russian citizens by the Greek Cypriot administration are being revoked as a result of the pressures of the European Union and the USA.

'Golden Passports' given to Russians canceled

The "Golden Passports" given by the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) to rich Russians in exchange for high sums are being canceled as a result of the pressure exerted by the European Union (EU) on the Greeks.

According to the news in the Southern Cyprus press, around 40 "Golden Passports" given by the Greek Cypriot Administration to Russian citizens who were included in the EU's sanctions list due to the Ukraine-Russia War were cancelled.

The EU Commission has frequently objected to the fact that Southern Cyprus has been giving passports to Russian citizens since 2020, providing them with a commercial shield and free movement in Europe, and Nicosia was warned about this.

Immediately after the Ukraine-Russia War, within the scope of the sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia, the accounts of nearly 10 thousand Russian citizens were frozen by the banks in the Greek Cypriot administration, and the Greek Cypriot administration faced EU pressure on the "Golden Passport" issue.

"Golden Passport"

The passports obtained by the citizens of non-EU countries by giving money to benefit from the Union's free trade, customs facilities and free movement rights are called "Golden Passports".

The "Golden Passport" application was stopped in 2020 because it also caused corruption allegations in the Greek Cypriot Administration, but before that, it was determined that 6 thousand people, nearly 3 thousand of whom were Russian citizens, received passports from Greek Cypriots.

The Greek Cypriot administration's provision of a passport to businessman Low Taek Jho, who was wanted with a red notice by Interpol due to a corruption investigation in Malaysia in 2016, with a reference letter written by Archbishop Hrisostomos for 300 thousand euros, caused heavy criticism and corruption investigations.

The Greek Cypriot Administration and Malta, for converting the "Golden Passport" practice into systematic income and providing passports to troubled business people, are met with criticism and warnings by the EU.

Malta stops selling passports to Russian and Belarusian citizens

Malta reported that in 2022, on the Russian-Ukrainian War, it suspended the residency and citizenship program for Russian and Belarusian citizens until further notice.

It was announced that the decision is also valid for the residence permit, except for the program of obtaining citizenship by investment.

Malta has been providing citizenship and Maltese passports to foreigners in exchange for investment in government funds, although it has caused controversy within the European Union (EU) since 2014.

With the program known as the "Golden Passport", a foreigner who applied for an amount of approximately 1 million Euros could obtain a Maltese passport, thus becoming an EU citizen.