Cyprus will revoke the passports of four sanctioned Russians who obtained citizenship as part of an investment program halted in late 2020, government sources said on Thursday.
The names of the men have not been released, but are on a list of more than 800 people sanctioned by the European Union in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A Reuters source confirmed a report published on the website of the newspaper Politis that the total number of passports to be revoked was 21, including those dependent on the Russians who have been sanctioned.
Cyprus granted citizenship to 2,886 Russian nationals, including investors and their families, between 2007 and August 2020.
It was among 6,779 people who received citizenship for investing at least 2 million euros ($ 2.18 million). A subsequent committee of inquiry found that the system had been operating in a legal vacuum for more than a decade without adequate supervision.
More than half of the passports were issued illegally, the commission said. In October, authorities said they would revoke the passports of 45 people.