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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

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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