In an interview with the private bTV channel on Sunday, Bulgarian Vice President Iliana Yotova said she had signed the final document revoking Adonev’s citizenship in May 2018. According to Bulgarian law, her office has the final say about granting or revoking citizenship.
Adonev, 57, who co-founded the Russian mobile operator Yota, sponsored one of the candidates in last year’s Russian presidential election, Ksenia Sobchak.
The Free Europe Bulgaria news service broke the story last week, just a day before the European Commission issued a warning against countries having “golden passports” schemes.
The EU executive warned that selling citizenship or residence permits to wealthy individuals could help foreign organized crime groups infiltrate the bloc and increase the risk of money laundering, corruption and tax evasion.
“We want more guarantees related to security and anti-money laundering. We expect more transparency,” EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova told reporters in Brussels.
Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice said it was planning to reform its nationality laws, including scrapping the golden passport scheme.