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Vkontakte Founder Pavel Durov Becomes Citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis

Published: April 23, 2014 (Issue # 1807)



  • Vkontakte social network founder Pavel Durov has reportedly acquired citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis.
    Photo: Pavel Durov / VKontakte

Vkontakte social network founder Pavel Durov acquired citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis shortly before fleeing Russia amid a conflict with security services over data protection and privacy, a news report has said.

Durov, who was fired from his position as Vkontakte CEO last week, received a St. Kitts and Nevis passport by contributing $250,000 to the Caribbean nation's sugar industry in February, an unidentified source close to the company's shareholders said, Izvestia reported Monday.

Durov's brother, Nikolai, who worked as a technical director at Vkontakte, is also seeking citizenship of the Caribbean nation through a similar investment program, the source added.

St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship may be obtained by investing $400,000 in the country's real estate, or by making a "non-refundable contribution" of $250,000 to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, according to the islands' citizenship-by-investment program website.

It takes between three and six months to process a citizenship application for St. Kitts and Nevis, a spokesperson for Henley Estates, a company that handles citizenship-by-investment applications for wealthy emigration-seekers, was cited as telling Izvestia.

The necessary funds also have to be invested after the application has been approved, the spokesperson said, indicating that Durov submitted his application several months ago.

Durov, who reportedly resisted months of increasing pressure from the Federal Security Service to release personal information about opposition activists who use Vkontakte, said that he learned about his dismissal from media reports last week.

He also said on his Vkontakte page that the social network will now fall under the "full control" of Kremlin-linked Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, and Vkontakte billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov.

After he was fired as Vkontakte CEO, Durov apparently traveled from Russia to the United Arab Emirates, where he holds a long-term residence visa, an unidentified source said.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Sept. 15


Angelic music will ring out in the city during this week’s Third International Harp Competition. Hosted by the Shostakovich Philharmonic in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the country’s best musicians with 40 to 47 strings will convene to find out who’s best.



Tuesday, Sept. 16


Lenexpo plays host to Tekhnodrev, a three-day convention that focuses on the woodworking industry in Russia. Promoting the latest technologies and trends, the event features not only exhibitors from some of Russia’s largest woodworking companies but representatives of the forestry industry, who will have their own coinciding forum.


Parlez-vous français? We don’t here at The St. Petersburg Times but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Join the British Book Center’s French Club meeting this evening at 6 p.m. in their location near Technologichesky Institut metro station.



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