Southern Cyprus was claimed to have earned 4 billion pounds of income by selling citizenship to Russian and Ukrainian citizens.
The news in the British newspaper The Guardian claimed that Southern Cyprus sold Russian oligarchs (a group that came to ultra-rich position by purchasing Russian production facilities privately) and Ukrainian elites with very high amounts of European Union citizenship through a system called the ‘golden visa’. In the news, Southern Cypriot administration has been providing passports and citizenships to 400 people since 2013 with a large amount of payments received from Russian and Ukrainian rich people. The newspaper has reached a list of many Russian businessmen.
Although such visa applications are being implemented in countries such as the UK, Greece and Portugal, very high security investigations are being carried out.
The Greek Cypriot administration, while providing citizenships with this system, is reported to have not made security investigations; a Syrian businessman close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was accused of ‘corruption’ by the USA authorities.
The Guardian’s news story was the first to document the use of the Russian and Ukrainian wealthy by the Greek Cypriot citizen access to the European Union. It is expressed that the European Union is watching with concern the actions taken by Southern Cyprus.