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Biden, European Allies, Target Russian 'Golden Passports' in New Sanctions

Biden, European Allies, Target Russian 'Golden Passports' in New Sanctions
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Saturday, 26 February 2022 07:08 PM EST

The administration of President Joe Biden and European allies are targeting “golden passports,” which give wealthy Russians connected to the government citizenship in other countries and allow them in the financial systems, as part of a new round of sanctions due to the invasion of Ukraine.

In a joint statement by the White House and European allies Saturday, the new sanction will be “taking measures to limit the sale of citizenship” to the “people and entities who facilitate war in Ukraine and the harmful activities of the Russian government.”

The new measure is one of four the statement said would be added to sanctions against Russia already imposed since forces moved into the Ukraine last week.

The practice of “golden passports” raised concerns from members of the European Parliament earlier in the month as being “objectionable ethically, legally, and economically,” as well as posing a security risk, according to that body.

“European Parliament Members stress that ‘citizenship by investment’ schemes, under which third country nationals can get nationality rights in exchange for an investment, are ‘objectionable from an ethical, legal and economic point of view, and pose several serious security risks,’” the body said in a statement Feb. 15.

According to the Parliament, some 130,000 third country nationals have taken advantage of the practice between 2011-19, generating €21.8 billion in revenue for the involved countries, including the member states of Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta.

A debate and vote on ending the practice is scheduled in the European Parliament in March.

In addition to the “golden passports,” other sanctions imposed Saturday include removing Russia from the SWIFT messaging system, disconnecting selected Russian banks from the international financial system, hurting their ability to operate, according to the joint statement.

The new sanctions also will impose measures restricting the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves to go around other sanctions and form a “transatlantic task force” to make sure all financial sanctions are implemented by identifying and freezing the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies, the statement said.

“We will also engage other governments and work to detect and disrupt the movement of ill-gotten gains, and to deny these individuals the ability to hide their assets in jurisdictions across the world,” the statement said. “Finally, we will step up or coordination against disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.”

The statement said that the United States and its allies “stand with the Ukrainian people in this dark hour. Even beyond the measures we are announcing today, we are prepared to take further measures to hold Russia to account for its attack on Ukraine.”

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Politics
The administration of President Joe Biden and European allies are targeting "golden passports," which give wealthy Russians connected to the government citizenship in other countries and allow them in the financial systems, as part of a new round of sanctions.
bideneurope, russia, ukraine, sanctions, business
432
2022-08-26
Saturday, 26 February 2022 07:08 PM
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