Russian Oligarchs

Cyprus Strips Golden Passports from 2 Russian Oligarchs

Two Russian oligarchs, flagged as high-risk, have lost their Cypriot citizenship obtained during Christofias’s presidency. One faced sanctions from Russia, while the other was sanctioned by the EU following the Ukraine invasion. This decision by the Cypriot cabinet comes amidst scrutiny of the “golden passport” program.

Who Are the 2 Russian Oligarchs Who Lost Their Cypriot Golden Passports?

The 2 Russian Oligarchs Konstantin Grigorishin & Igor Kesaev had acquired Cypriot citizenship during the 2008-2013 Demetris Christofias’ presidency.

Who is Russian Oligarch Konstantin Grigorishin ?

Konstantin Grigorishin: From Soviet Metals to Ukrainian Billionaire

  • Born in Zaporizhia, Ukraine (1965), Grigorishin built his fortune in the late 1980s by trading metals between Ukraine and Russia.
  • He acquired Ukrainian citizenship in 2016 and is a major shareholder in the Energy Standard Group.
  • Despite his Ukrainian ties, Russia sanctioned him in 2018, along with other Ukrainians.
  • His business empire in Ukraine includes factories and transportation companies.

He obtained a passport in Cyprus on January 4, 2011. In November 2020, he was sentenced to prison for tax evasion of $18 million and ordered to pay $32 million in restitution.

Kolomoisky and his wife Iryna got “golden passports’’ in 2011. Kolomoisky also has Israeli citizenship and a residence permit to live in Switzerland.

Who is Russian Oligarch Igor Kesaev ?

Igor Kesaev: Sanctioned Oligarch with Deep Ties

  • Background: Born in North Ossetia, Russia (1966), Kesaev became a Cypriot citizen in 2012.
  • Sanctions: He’s been sanctioned by the US and EU for his alleged role in supplying arms to eastern Ukrainian separatists through his company Degtyaryov.
  • Business Empire: Kesaev is Russia’s biggest cigarette distributor and reportedly has close ties to the FSB via the Monolith Foundation.
  • Wealth: He’s listed as a billionaire by Forbes with a net worth of $3.1 billion.

The revocation of these golden passports marks a significant and bold step by Cyprus as it grapples with the fallout from its contentious golden passport program, which has faced global criticism for enabling individuals with murky backgrounds to secure EU citizenship.

Ukrainians are in the top three nationalities by the number of golden passports after the Chinese and Russians, according to Cypriot authorities.

James Buxton

James Buxton - Undercover Champion James isn't your flashy headline chaser. He's a meticulous investigative journalist known for his relentless pursuit of the truth, one painstaking detail at a time. James thrives on combing through public records, chasing down obscure leads, and building a case brick by brick. His dogged determination exposed a local politician's web of financial corruption hidden within years of dry budget reports. James 's work rarely makes the evening news, but it delivers impactful change through legal action and policy reform. He's a hero for those who value the power of slow and steady investigative journalism.

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