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Statement by Tourism Minister Ernest Hilaire on Russian CIP Application

We do not disqualify persons on the basis of their nationality. We disqualify persons based on due diligence, based on intelligence report and based on their circumstances, so for example, the point I was making is there are Russians who are against Putin, they’ve had to flee Russia. They live in the United States, England and Canada. If they want a second citizenship—they don’t support Putin they just happen to be born in Russia, should we reject them? There are Russians who have contact with the Russian government; we will never accept them, but we should not take a blanket approach. What about the young professionals who are Russians working with international organizations and international companies?

Tourism Minister, Dr. Ernest Hilaire
Tourism Minister, Dr. Ernest Hilaire

What if they have excellent track records, in that they don’t support Putin, they don’t support what’s happening in Russia, but they were born in Russia? Should we automatically ban them because everybody wants to ban Russia? The same way I will not support Martiniquans or Canadians banning all Saint Lucians because some of our people have committed crimes or have engaged in activities that are unworthy.

If the US and the EU asks our government to do a complete ban on everybody born in Russia, then it is something the government will say yes or no too and we will follow, but we will apply the principle that we have; we will not accept any monies from any Russian bank or any sanctioned individual.

Is it fair that a young professional who works with a company in the US and who happens to be born in Russia and he/she doesn’t support Putin, but has a Russian passport and wants a second citizenship, should we ban him/her as well? The people that Putin persecuted who are now living in the West and who now want citizenship from another country because of the problems with Russia, should we ban them as well? So they’re getting two bans now? From Putin and now from us?

We will not accept any Russian banks transacting with us. We will not accept any Russian who has proven to be associated with the government or supports what Putin is doing.

1 Comment

  1. Stop the sellout, you’re not fooling anybody; we all know your’re a master at it; you started with Jufalli and now you are playing a dangerous game. Russians are not Soudies. Today these guys have great luxury high speed boats, the best private jets. Jufalli is dead and some got away with sizeable amounts, some with a ‘Rover’ and is able so far to be able to talk their way out of tight spots; don’t bring the reputation of this Island down to the mud. Rich Russions want a place to use, to hide their stash, why do you think ‘Wall Street’ don’t want any of it; but you, you smell money, don’t use St. Lucia to cell out, because in the end, the ordinary joe will never see a Dime of it, but the wheelers & Dealers would be gladly compensated. Keep your dealing to your self, St. Lucia don’t want it. I am persuaded to think, that the Lord God above will help the people of St. Lucia to survive this.

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