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30 May 2019

Two MEPs Want EU to Scrap Schengen Visa-Free Travel for St Kitts and Nevis

EUTwo Members of the European Parliament have called for the abolition of visa-free travel for passport holders of St. Kitts and Nevis, in an open letter sent to the highest EU officials.

Ana Gomes from the Portuguese S&D and Marietje Schaake from the Dutch ALDE wrote a letter to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the Commissioner for Migration Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramoupolos, the Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici and the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová.

Through this letter, both MEPs expressed their concerns regarding EU’s visa waiver program with St. Kitts and Nevis, over “questionable” individuals getting passports under the twin-island federation’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program. They brought up the case of Andrei Pavlov, a blacklisted Russian who managed to enter Europe for about 70 more times after he was banned from Europe.

It has recently come to our attention through emails from Mr. Pavlov that he engaged with several law firms – including Daniel Brantley – to obtain citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis. In his correspondence, they advertised the benefit of having visa free travel to the European Union. It has also come to our attention that between 2015 and 2019 Andrei Pavlov has made over 70 trips to the European Union from Russia,” the letter reads.

The letter also claims that Pavlov is not the only individual who used St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship-by-Investment program to access Europe, bringing up several other cases.

The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has also publicly stated that it believes that many foreign individuals have abused the Citizenship-by-Investment program sponsored by St. Kitts and Nevis,” the letter reads. It further reiterates that the EU commission is concerned about the golden visa program in the EU from Malta, Cyprus and other member states.

Gomes and Schaake urge the termination of the visa-free benefit for St. Kitts and Nevis, if their authorities do not undertake any measure to prevent persons like Pavlov from benefiting from this regime.

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