Top managers of Russian companies and state banks, as well as entrepreneurs from the "high-risk" group who were under investigation or whose business was subject to sanctions or administrative fines, received together with their family members citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus in exchange for investments in 2008-2012, reported the newspaper Politis, which named 34 owners of Cypriot "golden passports" issued during the period when the president of the island state was the former leader of the Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL) Dimitris Christofias (1946-2019).
The list includes the names of well-known Russian businessmen and managers. Among them are the first deputy chairman of Vnesheconombank Mikhail Kuzovlev, the founder of the vid group of companies Alexey Ushamirsky, ex-senator from Chuvashia Leonid Lebedev, deputy head of Gazprom's financial and economic department Igor Shatalov, president of the international group of companies "Areti" Igor Makarov, owner of the ESN group of companies Grigory Berezkin (with his wife), the president of the company Evraz Igor Kesaev, president of the Mercury Group, businessman Sasha Persovsky (formerly, according to the newspaper, had another name - Alexander Petrovsky), the late banker Vladimir Kogan, deputy chairman of the board of Gazprombank Alexey Matveyev and Alexander Muranov.
The list also included well-known Ukrainian entrepreneurs, including Igor Kolomoisky (with his wife and daughter), Gennady Bogolyubov, Elena Hajduk (with her husband), Mihailo Kiperman (with his wife). Entrepreneur Konstantin Grigorishin, as it is stated, was only a Russian citizen at the time of applying for Cypriot citizenship, but in 2016 he also became a citizen of Ukraine.
Among those who received Cypriot passports during this period, the newspaper also names Syrian businessmen and a cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Rami Maklouf and Razan Othman.
According to Politis, the list of names was sent to the leaders of the country's political parties by the President of the Republic Nikos Anastasiades with a "classified" seal, which was subsequently removed. This list of names is intended to prove that issuing such "golden passports", not only during the rule of the current President Nikos Anastasiades, but also at the time when the current Cypriot opposition was in power, was unjustified.