Russia's Elite Are Buying Maltese Citizenship

Ilya Rachkov, international law expert with Nektorov, Saveliev in Moscow on western sanctions and their effect on rich Russians: 'I think it means everyone will be cautious about doing business with them.' (CBC)

CBC: Rich Russians needing an exit strategy turn to Malta, where citizenship is for sale

With more western sanctions on horizon, Russian investors seek haven for families and a place for their money.

The island nation of Malta lures millions of tourists every year with its dramatic Mediterranean scenery and historic sights, but increasingly it seems rich Russian visitors are attracted by something they can take with them when they leave — Maltese citizenship.

Malta has just published a list of its newest citizens, and it's striking for the number of wealthy Russians on it. The list contains the names of the owners of Russia's biggest information technology companies, distilleries, real estate conglomerates and banks — more than 730 Russians in all.

All of them, it appears, paid the equivalent of $1.2 million Cdn to Malta's government to obtain Maltese citizenship, thereby also becoming a citizen of the European Union and gaining the visa-free travel to more than 160 countries that comes with it.

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WNU Editor: Countries of choice for these rich Russians are the U.S., Monaco, Malta, Cyprus, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada. In fact, Canada has an interesting history on rich investors buying a second passport .... Cash for passports: Canadians play key role in lucrative business (CBC).

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