The Maltese Order of Contractors: How Managers Linked to Russian State Companies Acquire EU Golden Passports

The Maltese Order of Contractors: How Managers Linked to Russian State Companies Acquire EU Golden Passports

While ordinary Russians face significant challenges in obtaining visas or residency permits in Europe, wealthy top managers from key Russian state company contractors continue to purchase Maltese passports, thus becoming EU citizens. This group includes major Russian businessmen, military suppliers, and Putin enthusiasts, who no longer need to worry about the restrictions imposed on Russians in Europe.

The Maltese authorities publish the names of new citizens each year. The Insider analyzed the lists published in 2022 and 2023, after the introduction of broad sanctions and restrictions against Russians. Many recipients of Maltese passports are beneficiaries of the political regime in Russia.

For instance, Vladimir Durnin, a shareholder and head of the company “Mezhregiontruboprovodstroy,” a major contractor for Gazprom, Rosneft, Transneft, Rosatom, and Novatek, became a Maltese citizen along with his wife. His other company, LLC “Tengri,” supplies garnet sand to the sanctioned company “Admiralty Shipyards,” which produces military ships and submarines.

Alexander Garankin, the first vice president of Gazprombank (whose offshore accounts are still used as a common fund by Putin’s circle), also acquired a Maltese passport along with his wife and three children.

Following his lead, Vladimir Kuksin, a major contractor for Rosneft and shareholder of the companies “Akros” and “Mad Expert,” specializes in servicing and supplying drilling solutions.

Among the new Maltese citizens, The Insider also found the owner of “Metal-Zavod” from Kubinka near Moscow, Alexander Minibaev. His enterprise supplies metal furniture to regional branches of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, courthouses, Federal Penitentiary Service, Federal Protective Service, and Ministry of Defense. The company’s annual turnover is nearly 3 billion rubles.

Vladislav Rydaev, the owner of “Terra-auto,” had enough funds for Maltese passports as well, becoming an EU citizen along with his wife and two daughters. Rydaev sells vehicles to various enterprises including those of Rostec, the Federal Penitentiary Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and local government bodies.

Another new Maltese citizen, Alexandra Fartusova, is reportedly the daughter of Lyudmila Fartusova, shareholder and chair of the Supervisory Board at AO “Concern Energomera.” The concern includes the enterprise “Monocrystal,” a major producer of sapphire for the optoelectronics industry and a defense contractor supplying monocrystalline corundum plates to AO “KNIRTI,” part of Rostec, which develops electronic warfare equipment, including the “Khibiny” systems for Su-30 fighters.

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