Opposition leader Allen Chastanet has raised concern over opportunities for Russian millionaires and billionaires to obtain Saint Lucian citizenship when several countries are putting pressure on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.
“Countries around the world and major corporations have all been implementing measures to help pressure the Russians to stop their invasion of Ukraine,” the United Workers Party (UWP) leader wrote on his Facebook page.
He noted that Dominica, Antigua, St Kitts, and Grenada have all suspended issuing Citizenship to Russians.
But the former prime minister observed that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP ) government refuses to do the same here in Saint Lucia.
The United Workers Party (UWP) leader called out Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information and Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire.
“Why is Minister Ernest Hilaire hellbent on destroying Saint Lucia’s reputation by continuing to allow Russian millionaires and billionaires the opportunity to possess Saint Lucian citizenship in a time when world is showing solidarity with the people of Ukraine?” Chastanet said.
His comments echoed remarks made a day earlier by the leader of opposition business in the Saint Lucia senate, Dominic Fedee.
Fedee, former Tourism Minister, had called on the government to adopt a stricter stance regarding sanctions against Russia over its ‘illegal and undemocratic’ invasion of Ukraine by prohibiting Russians from applying to this country’s Citizenship By Investment Programme (CIP).
“What we need to do is ban completely Russian nationals from applying to our CIP programme,” the former Tourism Minister told reporters on Thursday.
“And to say that we will allow Russians to apply to our programme really is a slap in the face of what over 165 countries voted for at the United Nations, including Saint Lucia, that we would take a tough stance as a united world against any country that violates the sovereignty of another,” Fedee observed.