Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Russian billionaire Abramovich takes Israeli citizenship

Russian billionaire Abramovich takes Israeli citizenship

Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club, has become an Israeli citizen just a month after the United Kingdom delayed renewal of his British visa amid diplomatic tension between London and Moscow. He applied to renew the visa in April but did not immediately receive approval from the Home Office.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich had every right to take Israeli citizenship, saying his choice to acquire another passport was no big deal. Israeli passport holders can enter Britain without a visa for short stays, although they require visas to work there.

A spokesman for Abramovich also declined to comment on the report.

Roman Abramovich, the owner of England's Chelsea soccer club sits, watches the Euro 2008 group E qualifying soccer match Israel vs Russian Federation at the Ramat Gan stadium outside Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007. He has owned the team since 2003 and has been present at almost every game, until his visa problems began.

Abramovich, worth an estimated £8.6billion, exercised his right under Israel's Law of Return, which grants citizenship to Jews wishing to move there.

But diplomatic relations between Britain and Russian Federation plummeted after the Skripal poisonings, which Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said had probably been personally ordered by Mr. Putin.

His UK investor visa reportedly expired some weeks ago but the British government has refused to comment on his individual case.

Mr. Abramovich has visited Israel several times and has made investments in Israeli companies.

Russian-born billionaire Roman Abramovich has been granted Israeli citizenship following a recent souring of relations between Moscow and London.

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