The Council of Ministers has decided to revoke the citizenship of four further Russians and their families who obtained ‘Golden Passports’ under the island’s disgraced Citizenship by Investment scheme that was brought to an abrupt end in November 2020.
The four Russians have been sanctioned in the latest round of EU sanctions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The four have been named in the local media as Grigory Berezkin, Oleg Deripaska, Igor Kasayev and Gulbakor Ismailova; their eleven dependents will also lose their ‘Golden Passports’.
Grigory Berezkin acquired Cypriot Citizenship in October 2012. He is a prominent businessman and considered to be loyal to Vladimir Putin. Berezkin is Chairman of the Board of ESN Group, a Russian private investment group with a portfolio of investments in various sectors, including media, energy, infrastructure, natural resources, and the petrochemical sector.
Oleg Deripaska acquired Cypriot citizenship in 2017 and his fortune is estimated at US$ 23 billion. The US imposed sanctions on Deripaska, who has controlled one of the world’s largest aluminium companies for four years; on Deripaska has also been sanctioned by the UK since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Igor Kasayev acquired Cypriot citizenship in May 2012. He is listed on the Forbes list of billionaires and his fortune is estimated at US$ 3.1 billion. Kasayev’s ‘clan’, which consists of nine dependents: his wife, children and grandchildren will also lose their ‘Golden Passports’.
Gulbakor Ismailova acquired Cypriot citizenship in 2015. She is the sister of the Russian tycoon, Alisher Usmanov whose fortune is estimated at US$ 19.5 billion.
Earlier this month, four individuals and their seventeen family members lost their ‘Golden Passports’. Phileleftheros reports that the latest four individuals to be stripped of their Cypriot citizenship have eleven dependants who were also granted citizenship.
The total number of individuals who have been stripped of their Cypriot citizenship as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stands at 36.
Legal Services will meet in May to consider more than 100 ‘Golden Passport’ cases that came to light during the investigation headed up by former supreme court judge Myron Nikolatos.
Also anticipated in May are developments concerning five individuals highlighted in the Al Jazeera exposé.
Cyprus issued 6779 ‘Golden Passports’ under its disgraced Citizenship by Investment scheme, 2886 of which were issued Russian and their family members according to reports.
It’s been estimated that approximately 45,000 Russians live in Cyprus, almost 6% of the Republic’s population.