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POLITICS

The Maltese Order of Contractors: How executives tied to Russian state-owned companies acquire EU passports

While ordinary Russians struggle to obtain visas or residency permits in Europe, affluent top managers from pivotal Russian state-owned enterprises continue to effortlessly secure Maltese passports, thus attaining European Union citizenship. Among these new Europeans are prominent Russian businessmen, many of whom are involved in supplying the Russian military and vocally support Vladimir Putin. This privileged group can now bypass restrictions imposed on regular Russian citizens desirous of entering the EU.

The Maltese authorities annually release the names of new citizens, a practice maintained even after the extensive sanctions and limitations imposed on Russians in 2022 and 2023. Notably, many recipients of Maltese passports are closely tied to the political regime in Russia.

For instance, Vladimir Durnin, a shareholder and head of the company Mezhregiontruboprovodstroi (Interregional Pipeline Construction), along with his spouse, has obtained Maltese citizenship. His company serves as a major contractor for Gazprom, Rosneft, Transneft, Rosatom, and Novatek. Additionally, Durnin's other venture, Tengri LLC, supplies garnet sand to the sanctioned Admiralty Shipyards JSC, known for its production of military vessels, including submarines.

Alexander Garankin, first vice president of Gazprombank, has also acquired a Maltese passport. (The accounts of offshore entities connected to Gazprombank are still utilized as a slush fund for Putin's inner circle.) Alongside the head of the Garankin household, Alexander’s wife and three children have also become European citizens.

Alexander Garankin
Alexander Garankin

Following Garankin’s lead is Vladimir Kuksov, a prominent contractor for Rosneft and a shareholder of the companies Akros and Mad Expert. He is involved in the servicing and supply of drilling fluids.

Among the newly minted Maltese citizens, The Insider also found Alexander Minibaev, the owner of Metall-Zavod (Metal Plant), located in Kubinka near Moscow. His enterprise provides metal furniture for regional offices of Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Penitentiary Service, Federal Protective Service, Ministry of Defense, and for courthouses. The company's annual turnover is nearly 3 billion rubles ($32,070,000).

Also joining the ranks of Maltese passport holders is the owner of Terra-Auto company, Vladislav Rydaev, along with his wife and two daughters. Naturally, Ryadev is also a government contractor, selling automobiles to Rostecenterprises, the Federal Penitentiary Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs facilities, and local administrations.

Vladislav Rydaev
Vladislav Rydaev

The Insider has found out that the newly minted Maltese citizen Alexandra Fartusova is the daughter of Lyudmila Fartusova, who is a shareholder and chair of the Supervisory Board of the Energomera Concern JSC. The conglomerate includes the Monokristal enterprise, a major producer of sapphire for the optoelectronics industry.

 Lyudmila Fartusova
Lyudmila Fartusova

Furthermore, Monokristal serves as a defense contractor. For instance, it supplies monocrystalline corundum plates to KNIRTI JSC. This company, which is part of Rostec, is engaged in the development of electronic warfare systems, including the production of the Khibiny EW system for Su-30 fighter jets.

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