The Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) wishes to express its deep disappointment with the repeated comments made by former Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Allen Chastanet in relation to the Citizenship Investment Unit and acceptance of Russian applicants. The Government believes that these comments are irresponsible, malicious, and deliberately designed to hurt Saint Lucia, the people of Saint Lucia, and the Programme. Hon. Chastanet knows that the Programme has been acting in accordance with all international decisions and actions. Hon. Allen Chastanet knows the importance of the CIP to Saint Lucia.
The Government of Saint Lucia has joined the rest of the international community to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and expressed its solidarity and support for the Government and the People of Ukraine. The GOSL will continue to support all international efforts to sanction the regimes in Russia and Belorussia and will take all necessary action when called upon to do so.
The GOSL has clearly stated that Saint Lucia, as a principle, does not support the discrimination of any person based on their nationality. The GOSL supports the call to restrict the access of any Russian national to use the CIP to avoid sanctions and mask their affiliation to the Russian regime. However, some individuals have applied who have lived outside Russia for many years and themselves have been persecuted or needed to flee the actions of the regime. It was felt that these people should not be abandoned and disregarded once they pass due diligence. The CIP Unit in Saint Lucia now has a very rigid and robust due diligence process that is done in consultation with our international partners and friendly Governments.
The GOSL has continued to dialogue and discuss with all its international friends to ensure that it is part of the international effort to restrict the Russian regime and to ensure transparency and openness in the operations of its CIP Unit. Accordingly, the GOSL will now do the following:
- Review all the Russians who have been given citizenship during the Allen Chastanet administration and to date to ensure that no one who is sanctioned was granted citizenship and a passport;
- Revoke the citizenship of anyone who was granted citizenship and is now sanctioned. Citizens who are not on the sanctions list will continue to enjoy citizenship;
- Suspend the processing of applications from nationals of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.
The GOSL will continue to make representation for persons who are special cases suffering from persecution and discrimination from the Russian regime and are in need of support in these difficult circumstances.