The island of Gallinara off the coast of Italy was once a refuge for popes and influential clergymen. But now it has been purchased by Oleksandr Boguslayev, the son of the former majority owner of Ukrainian aerospace company Motor Sich, according to the Corriere Italian newspaper.
The Corriere reports that Boguslayev bought the island for 10 million euros ($11.7 million) from nine Italian families that had owned it for the past 40 years. Separately, he purchased their houses on the island for a few more million, according to the Corriere’s sources.
The Corriere reports that the 42-year-old Ukrainian also has the citizenship of the Caribbean island of Grenada. Dual citizenship is illegal in Ukraine.
The Kyiv Post tried to reach Boguslayev through the Motor-Garant insurance company, one of the nine businesses he co-owns in Ukraine, but was denied a comment by the company’s office. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty tried reaching Boguslayev through Motor Sich, but was told he is not an employee or a stakeholder in the company.
Boguslayev is the son of Vyacheslav Boguslayev, the president of Motor Sich who said he sold his stake in the aerospace giant to Chinese state-owned companies in 2019. The deal has been under review by the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine since then.
Ukrainian authorities and the country’s NATO partners have expressed concerns about the Chinese acquisition of Motor Sich. The firm is considered strategically vital to Ukraine and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of turbine engines and engine parts for civilian and military aircraft.
Pentagon and NATO officials, as well as G7 diplomats, have all warned against the Chinese interest in Motor Sich and said that Chinese investment in Ukraine may be a double-edged sword with a potentially negative impact on the country and its allies.
The Corriere suggests that selling the Motor Sich shares to the Chinese companies is precisely where the Boguslayev family made the money to purchase the island. Boguslayev bought the territory from the nine families, who had financial difficulties and problems with the regional authorities, the Corriere reports.
Gallinara Island is a nature reserve located 1.5 kilometers from the coast between the Italian towns of Albenga and Alassio. The island is 470 meters long and 450 meters wide, and resembles a turtle. The island’s hills reach up to 87 meters above sea level.
Gallinara also has a rich history, the Corriere reports. For centuries, it belonged to the Catholic Church before being privatized in the mid-1800s. Since then, it has belonged to wealthy bankers and industrialists. For the last 40 years, the island was in the possession of nine Italian families.
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