St Lucia: The Government of St Lucia (GOSL) has recently announced that it has joined other international communities to oppose the Russian Federation attacking its neighbouring country Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.
The Caribbean nation has condemned the act and has expressed solidarity as well as support to the Ukrainian Community. It further stated that the GOSL would perform all required efforts to support the international community in imposing strict sanctions against Russia.
The Government outlined, “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 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 Government of St Lucia has further clarified that the Government will not support any sort of discrimination based on the nationality of the individual, but it will support the call to ban the Russian national from applying for the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) of St Lucia.
It further outlined that the Russians or Belarusians residing outside the nations for many years can apply for the CBI Programme if they pass the due-diligence process of the country. The Government further stated that the CIP Unit has been following a strict and robust due diligence process that is done in consultation with our international partners and friendly Governments.
The GOSL has stated that it has discussed with all the international allies “to ensure that it is part of the international effort to restrict the Russian regime and ensure transparency and openness in the operations of its CIP Unit”.
The St Lucian government has also expressed deep disappointment over the repeated comments by the former Prime Minister and current leader of Opposition – Allen Chastanet, regarding the applications of Russians as well as the CIP Unit. The Government slammed and stated that the comments by Chastanet were “irresponsible, malicious and deliberately designed to hurt Saint Lucia, the people of Saint Lucia and the Programme”.
It added that Chastanet is aware of the fact that the Programme contributes to major developments of the region, and the region has been working in accordance with the international decisions as well as actions.
The Government further blamed the former Prime Minister for borrowing more than EC$1 billion in the last five years when he served as the Prime Minister of St Lucia.
In accordance to the statement released by the Government of St Lucia, now, it will perform the following tasks –
The Government will ‘Review’ the Russians’ applications who attainted citizenship during the administration of Chastanet to ensure that no one who is sanctioned has received the dual citizenship of the nation.
Secondly, Government will revoke the citizens who were granted citizenship and are now sanctioned. It further assured that the citizens who are not on the sanctions list would continue to enjoy citizenship.
The third step to be followed by the Government is that it would suspend the processing applications from nationals of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.
The GOSL further assured that “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.”