The European Commission urged countries EU cancel national programs for the sale of citizenship to investors.
Cancel the “golden passports” – with such an appeal addressed the European Commission to the governments of the EU countries. In addition to canceling national investment programs, the commission also recommends suspending the issuance of visas to Russians and Belarusians, writes GreekReporterreferring to information posted by the “Voice of America”.
The European Commission explains its recommendations with the fear that persons from the EU sanctions list, who ended up there due to the invasion of Ukraine, may turn out to be holders of “golden passports”. The EC notes:
“Some citizens of Russia or Belarus who are under sanctions or who provide significant support for the war in Ukraine, under these schemes, could receive EU citizenship or privileged access to the EU, including for free movement within the Schengen area.”
Almost 700 people are now on the “black list” of the EU – the military, politicians, businessmen. They got into it from the moment the Russian aggression against Ukraine began. The European Commission has called for an immediate end to existing national passport sales programs. Today they exist in Cyprus, Malta and Bulgaria. All countries have pledged to terminate them immediately. Recently, the Bulgarian parliament voted to abolish the sale of “golden” passports and visas.
Official Brussels says that EU governments should check whether people subject to sanctions have “golden” passports or visas. According to the EC, the decision to revoke such passports or revoke residence permits rests with EU governments. Ultimately, the European Commission did not call for the termination of the Golden Visa programs, limiting itself to calling for the strictest checks and suspension of the issuance of residence permits to Russians and Belarusians.
There are already precedents in Greece. Just yesterday, our publication talked about a couple from Russia, which seeks the abolition of the ban on the extension of residence permits. A Russian businessman who has been living and working in Greece since 2012 is seeking an injunction from the Supreme Administrative Court of Greece to overturn a ministerial order suspending the renewal or issuance of new residence permits to Russian citizens because of the war in Ukraine.
On February 28, 2022, the Minister of Immigration and Asylum ordered the processing of all applications for residence permits from Russian citizens to be stopped. The Russian and his wife are seeking recognition of the decision as unconstitutional. The couple lives in Thessaly, where the man rents cars and sells and manages agricultural property. The couple own their own home.