Billionaire Yuri Milner, whose investment firm DST Global has included such familiar tech brands as Facebook, Twitter, and Airbnb in its portfolio over the years, has announced that he's officially renounced his Russian citizenship. It's presumably a response to the invasion of Ukraine, but Milner, who was born in Russia, says he and his family left the country years ago, following similar Russian actions in Crimea. Now, though, he says the process of renouncing his citizenship has been finalized.
Milner took to his official Twitter account to make the announcement, which lays out his actions in straightforward and unadorned language:
"My family and I left Russia for good in 2014, after the Russian annexation of Crimea. And this summer, we officially completed the process of renouncing our Russian citizenship."
The natural conclusion is that Milner made the decision to completely cut his personal ties with Russia in response to the war in Ukraine, but he didn't elaborate in the tweet or through a spokesperson, reports The Wall Street Journal. But on his website, Milner says he's been a citizen of Israel since 1999, and that he's lived with his family in the US since 2014, the same year he left Russia.
Milner's website also declares that he owns no financial assets in Russia, and that the lion's share (97 percent) of his $4 billion fortune was created outside the country where he was born.
While Milner didn't specify his reasons for renouncing his Russian citizenship or publicly declaring that he'd done so, it's obviously not an ideal time to let people assume you have business ties in the country, with Russian billionaires with alleged ties to President Putin being hit with sanctions and having their assets overseas seized by western governments.
Milner's renouncement and that of the rest of his family was reportedly finalized back in August.