The Opposition United Workers Party is pleased that the Government of Saint Lucia has finally taken our advice and realized the seriousness of the Russia-Ukraine war and therefore imposed some sanctions when it comes to Russians and Belarussians applying for Citizenship by Investment in Saint Lucia.
For several weeks, the Opposition has been pleading with the Government to take the decision to safeguard our nation’s CIP, protect Saint Lucia’s reputation and to cause Russians to pressure their own government to cease the attacks against Ukraine.
The Government of Saint Lucia has taken the first step to review all Russians and suspend the processing of Russian applicants, however, the Opposition further advises that there should be no exceptions to the rule. Based on the Government’s latest press release the intention is still to accept some Russian applications.
Already there are moves internationally that could affect the region’s CIP programmes and we could see further restrictions put on Saint Lucians due to the inaction of Philip J Pierre’s SLP administration.
There are serious consequences that could be imposed on Saint Lucians and we must ask ourselves, is the Government putting Russians first?
There should be no ambiguity and the sanctions should apply across the board. You can’t pick and choose which Russians you believe may or may not be tied to this conflict.
This exception to the rule puts Saint Lucians and Saint Lucia’s international standing at risk. We remain concerned that if the Government continues to go down its current route that sanctions will be put against Saint Lucians in the form of visa restrictions, changes in visa free policies and who knows what else.
In order to ensure this does not happen there can be no ambiguity.
The Citizenship by Investment Units of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Antigua & Barbuda have suspended Russians and Belarusians from applying to their programmes with no exceptions.
When in office the UWP administration has always advocated for the OECS to work together when it comes to CIP.
The question needs to be asked, why is the SLP administration still putting Russia ahead of Saint Lucia?