By Caribbean News Global
WASHINGTON, USA – A few Caribbean countries engage in Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programmes have informed agents of the immediate suspension of all new applications from Russia and Belarus; meanwhile a deeper assessment of Russian oligarchs and associates’ in the region have a deeper challenge to confront the economic sanction imposed globally, and possibly significant financial losses depending on the level of direct and indirect exposure to Russia.
In the light of Russian aggression on Ukraine, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Saint Lucia with immediate effect are seeking to protect the integrity of their respective programs, and safeguards to international exposure, amid the risk of global sanctions, that may include revocation of CARICOM passports to Russian oligarchs and associates’.
The consequences of Russia’s military action on Ukraine, and global sanctions have restricted transactions, making it difficult to conduct due diligence. In some cases, it has become increasingly challenging and counter-productive to not abide by the ever-expanding global sanctions.
Sir Ronald Sanders, ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organisation of American States, noted that: “When this crisis began to loom, there was, in some Caribbean circles, the view that countries of the region should stay out of “the white boys war”. However, as I have argued in previous commentaries, any march by the Russian government into Ukraine and any attempt to annex parts of it by recognition of break-away regions within it, would have grave repercussions for the world, including the Caribbean.”
Sir Sanders has further “revealed that Antigua and Barbuda is instituting measures to ensure the country implements international sanctions against named Russian persons and entities.”
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has an immediate and future impact on the Caribbean’s social-economic and geopolitical landscape, travel and business investments.
In the coming weeks, greater scrutiny is expected of Russian oligarchs and associates with assets in the Caribbean [Yachts, movable and immovable property] personal / government associations in the region, Russian investments in the Caribbean and Russian (CARICOM) passport holders.
The Caribbean needs to be prepared for the worst considering a great impact on world trade. A weakening of economic activity is not unexpected, arising from oil and gas sharp increases is anticipated for some Caribbean and Latin American countries with close ties to Moscow and Vladimir Putin regime, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and other ALBA states.
The Caribbean tourist-dependent remains a prominent destination in the world, however, it is on the receiving end of many global decisions, not of its own making.
The challenges of supply chains, food security, rising inflation, new guidance on the financial compass – SWIFT international payments network – banking system, amid crippling global sanctions on Russia and its oligarchs, will continue to pose a significant risk to Caribbean islands and Caribbean passports that offer visa-free travel to nearly 140 to 160 countries.