Malta has officially suspended Russians and Belarusians from its cash-for-passports scheme.
The sudden stance change comes after recent developments when it comes to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The government said that due diligence checks cannot be carried out effectively.
‘Consequently, Community Malta Agency and Residency Malta Agency have suspended, until further notice, the processing of applications for the above-mentioned statuses from nationals of the Russian Federation and Belarus.’
This applies to both Malta’s citizenship-by-investment scheme as well as a residency through investment scheme which is renewed on a yearly basis. Renewal applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Both the US and the European Commission said this weekend that they would take measures to stop such golden passport sales to wealthy Russians as part of a list of sanctions agains the country. Malta resisted introducing this sanction at first.
The Nationalist Party commented on the move after having been very vocal about the need to suspend the scheme. The party said that Robert Abela did this out of convenience and that this proves the PN right. ‘He should have done this well before others told him what to do.’