Authorities of Montenegro published a list people who in 2022 received the citizenship of the country in exchange for investments. The list included the namesake of the founder of the Red and White chain of stores, Sergei Studennikov (in 2021, Forbes estimated his fortune at $1.8 billion). The country of origin of the person is Russia, and the decision to issue him a passport was made on September 21, 2022. Next to the name of Studennikov on the list are Elena Soboleva (also name is entrepreneur’s spouse), as well as Elizaveta Soboleva and Maria Studennikova. The decision on their citizenship was made on the same day, and Russia was indicated as the country of origin for all.
The Red and White network, at the request of Forbes, declined to comment.
In addition to Studennikov, there are several namesakes of well-known Russian entrepreneurs on the list. For example, Evgeny Zaltsman is mentioned – also name is managing partner of the Ultimate Capital investment fund, which invested in the Whoosh scooter rental service and the Skillbox educational platform. The Montenegrin registry also contains namesakes of the former head of the Russian branch of the Swiss bank UBS Fyodor Tregubenko and co-founder and co-owner of the producer of turkey, duck and lamb “Damate” Rashida Khairova.
Forbes sent requests to Tregubenko and Khairov. Saltzman declined to comment.
@CorruptionTV, 01/10/2023 08:46 AM: Since the beginning of 2022, Russians have become the largest group, having bought 42% of investment passports in Montenegro.
Information on the acquisition of investment citizenship of the country is available on the website of the Montenegrin Center for Civic Education. Judging by the data that was in the public domain, son-in-law received Montenegrin citizenship Lyubov Sovershaevathe son of a reputable businessman who was shot dead in St. Petersburg in the 90s, – Albert Beineshev and his wife, daughter of Lyubov Sovershaeva – Svetlana. Together with them, the citizenship of the Balkan country was given to their children.
New citizenship was also acquired by: […] ex-adviser to the head of the Accounts Chamber, now director of Igronik Nikita Pipko; former deputy of the Belgorod Regional Duma of the sixth convocation (United Russia party) Konstantin Klyuka. — Inset K.ru
In the Montenegrin list, the creator of the Ethereum blockchain network, a native of Kolomna near Moscow, Vitalik Buterin, who grew up in Canada, is also listed as a native of Russia. That he received Montenegrin citizenship, reported in April 2022. The authorities of the country stated that it would help the development of the local crypto industry. The registry indicates that Buterin did not receive the passport under the Citizenship by Investment program.
In total, the list of people who received Montenegrin passports for various reasons in 2022 includes a little more than 400 people. Approximately one in three (140 people in total) has Russia as their country of origin, of which only two are Buterin and a gymnast Elizabeth Lugovskikh — obtained citizenship not for investment. Part of the list has a dash instead of the country of origin, and it is difficult to establish their affiliation.
Montenegro is one of the countries in Europe that allows you to obtain citizenship in exchange for investment. The program was launched in November 2019, but due to the pandemic, passports were issued only after the quarantine was lifted in 2020. The first owner of the “golden passport” of Montenegro became Russian.
To obtain Montenegrin citizenship need to invest in real estate from €250,000 in the north and center of the country and from €450,000 on the coast, as well as to pay a contribution of €200,000 to Montenegrin state funds.
@hellotransfer, 01/10/2023 10:39 AM: It was only necessary for Podgorica to refuse extradition Chuyana and Ismailovimmediately increased the demand for golden passports. I must say that entrepreneurs made sure in time, Montenegro plans to introduce a visa regime for Russians, respectively, the system of obtaining citizenship in exchange for investments can also become much more complicated. — Inset K.ru
TASS, 01/09/2022, “Montenegro has published the names of over 1 thousand foreigners who received “honorary citizenship”: The government of Montenegro has published the names of 1,072 foreigners who received “honorary citizenship” of the republic from 2008 to 2022. […] The published lists contain the names of citizens of a number of countries, including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. Honorary citizenship was granted based on requests from the President, Prime Minister of Montenegro, as well as other officials of the country.
Russian names on the list are most common in 2021-2022 and make up about half of the list. Most of the holders of economic citizenship received a “golden passport” at the request of the former Prime Minister of Montenegro Zdravko Krivokapic, the decision was signed by the heads of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic, Sergei Sekulovich, and then Filip Adzic. — Inset K.ru
Vedomosti, 10/14/2021, “Names of golden passport holders published in Montenegro”: Among those whose applications for investment citizenship were granted by the country’s authorities are the full namesakes of a number of well-known Russian top managers: Avito CEO Vladimir Pravdivy, TMK board member Alexander Shiryaev, partner of billionaire Roman Abramovich Andrey Gorodilov, who, when Abramovich headed Chukotka, was the first vice-president of Sibneft and the first deputy chairman of the government of Chukotka, and now, according to SPARK, he is a co-owner and general director of the Prodo food company. In addition, the list also includes the full namesake of the former head of Rostourism, Oleg Safonov. […]
Ilya Zharsky, managing partner of the Veta expert group, notes that the published lists, strictly speaking, are not personal data from the point of view of the law. Based on the published information, it can be assumed that the decisions of the Montenegrin authorities relate to very specific individuals, but on the basis of these assumptions, no legally significant actions can be taken against the alleged citizen or citizens in Russia, because the published information is not enough to identify the person, says Zharsky. — Inset K.ru