EU seeks finish to golden passport schemes, halt to gross sales of visas to Russians

The European Fee known as on EU governments on Monday to finish nationwide programmes to promote citizenship to buyers, also referred to as golden passports schemes, and urged them to droop the sale of visas to Russians and Belarusians.

The transfer follows a brand new push from the European Parliament to shrink and regulate the multi-billion-euro citizenship and visa business which the EU has lengthy thought of a safety danger.

It comes amid considerations that individuals hit by European Union sanctions over Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine could also be holders of EU golden visas or passports.

“Some Russian or Belarusian nationals who’re topic to sanctions or are considerably supporting the battle in Ukraine may need acquired EU citizenship or privileged entry to the EU, together with to journey freely within the Schengen space, below these schemes,” the European Fee mentioned on Monday.

For the reason that begin of the Russian aggression, which Moscow calls a particular operation, the EU has blacklisted practically 700 high politicians, businessmen and navy employees accused of supporting the Kremlin.

The Fee urged an instantaneous finish to current nationwide programmes for the sale of passports. At the moment solely Malta, Cyprus and Bulgaria have such schemes and so they have all dedicated to ending them. Cyprus’ parliament has simply voted to finish its programme.

Brussels additionally mentioned governments ought to examine whether or not sanctioned folks had been holding a golden passport or visa they’d issued.

The European Fee mentioned it didn’t know whether or not sanctioned folks had been among the many beneficiaries of the programme. A spokesman declined to make clear whether or not it had requested EU states to offer lists of people that had purchased visas or passports.

Nations ought to decide whether or not to annul these passports and will instantly withdraw residence permits, the Fee mentioned.

A number of EU international locations run golden visa schemes and have had golden passports programmes.

The Fee avoided calling for the tip of golden visa programmes, however urged strict checks and requested EU governments to droop the granting of residence permits to Russians and Belarusians.
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