Caribbean countries that offer Citizenship by Investment including Antigua and Barbuda has agreed to a request by the United States to end the processing of Russian and Belarusian applications.
The decision was taken at a recently held meeting in St Kitts and Nevis with officials from the United States Treasury.
The twin island nation has not been processing CIPs to Russian and Belarusians for over year now
“Their issue was about our CIP and one of the concerns they raised with us is that they wanted us to discontinue the processing of Russian and Belarusians…I believe there is one country processing Russian and Belarussians… In any case we huddled and there’s a consensus now that that we will not process these applications…” Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.
Browne expects the US to be “very happy” about the latest decision, saying that “if we try to buck them and use the issue of sovereignty…all they have to do is issue a sanction stopping us from using the banking system and then we are in trouble”
He said a decision like that [the US issuing financial sanctions] could plunge the entire country into poverty “really had little choice but to cooperate and collaborate”
Browne said Antigua and Barbuda had already decided to stand in solidarity with the other world leaders and end the processing or Russian CIP’s.
Meanwhile Browne said, while leaders agreed to the US’s request, there were certain contradictions.
Browne said the US had no moral authority to ask the CIP countries to stop processing the Russians and Belarusians based on the fact that the US continues to process these people.
“Many of these Russians and Belarussians we would have processed have never come here. So, they don’t have any interest of coming here and going to the US in the first instance so the risk is less. So, we see the contradiction but might is right and you have to know which battle to fight,” Browne said
He said the leaders did not cooperate because they believed what the US was saying but it was done in an interest of keeping the peace
“We don’t want no confusion and the United States’ is an important partner to us. Most of our tourism comes from the US. Most of what we consume comes from the US so we don’t want any acrimonious relationship with the US,” Browne said.
Dominica announced in 2022 that it was suspending its CIP applications to Russians.
A number of European countries have also suspended certain visas for Russian nationals in response to the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022
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