Russian Tycoon Aven’s Latvian Citizenship Should Be Linked US Sanctions, PM Says

(Bloomberg) -- Latvian authorities need to take into account new US sanctions against Russian tycoon Petr Aven as they decide whether to revoke his citizenship, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said.

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The sanctions, announced Friday against Aven and three others who helped found the Alfa Group banking conglomerate, are “another important signal to the responsible Latvian institutions evaluating the legitimacy of his citizenship,” Karins said in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Latvia, which borders Russia and is among the fiercest European critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is reviewing whether a 2022 law allows authorities to strip Aven of his citizenship in the Baltic nation.

Aven, who lives in Latvia, declined to comment. The billionaire, who has a Latvian grandfather, was granted citizenship in 2016 after meeting naturalization requirements and passing a language exam.

Latvia’s law allows authorities to revoke citizenship for people who support genocide, crimes against peace, and threats to the territorial integrity and constitutional order of democratic states. If security officials conclude that Aven violated the law, a report will be sent to the Office of Citizenship and Migration for a decision, which could be challenged in court.

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