Maltese government to suspend the sale of golden passports to Russians
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese government has caved in to pressure and demands from the European Union and the United States to stop the cash for passports scheme for Russian citizens.
Until Monday, Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela ignored calls by the Nationalist Opposition and the civil society to suspend the scheme for Russians, refused to divulge the names of Russians who have already acquired the Maltese citizenship through the cash for passport scheme and declared that the scheme is subject to thorough and strict procedures. But in less than 24 hours, a government’ statement said that due to “recent developments” – without mentioning the Russian invasion of Ukraine – the necessary due diligence process cannot be done in an effective manner. The government’s statement said that the Community Malta Agency and the Residency Malta Agency have suspended, until further notice, the processing of both Maltàs citizenship-by-investment scheme as well as a residency through investment scheme applications coming from nationals of the Russian Federation and Belarus.
The Maltese government said that the renewal of applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and subject to fresh due diligence process.
The Maltese government said no beneficiaries or applicants to acquire the Maltese citizenship or residence are on the EU Sanctions List.
Meanwhile the members of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) will be offering free accommodation covering the quarantine period required by law for Ukrainian asylum seekers. MHRA will also offer support to Ukrainian asylum seekers in finding jobs across the hospitality sector.
Meantime the Migrants Commission and the Archdiocese of Malta launched a humanitarian home-hosting initiative open to homeless migrants and refugees who have been forced to flee their countries like the Ukrainians.