Russian Oligarch, After Visa Troubles in Britain, Surfaces in Israel

Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich

Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich

The British authorities are said to want the oligarch to open up his books in order to prove his UK-held wealth is legitimate in order to grant him another visa.

While stressing he could not comment on individual cases, the spokesman outlined the general situation, saying: "Those with Israeli passports are non-visa nationals, which means they do not need a visa to come to the United Kingdom as a visitor for a maximum period of six months". Abramovich's previous visa was said to have expired in April, and the application for the renewal is reported to be under consideration.

Relations between Moscow and London have been strained since the poisoning in Salisbury of the former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March.

Ynet News reported that Mr. Abramovich has already opened a bank account in Israel, and that he will reside at a $28 million (NIS 100 million) estate in the picturesque Neve Tzedek neighborhood in Tel Aviv, which he bought in 2015. Mr. Putin, who has ravaged businesses of critical Russian tycoons, has not touched Mr. Abramovich's Russian businesses, which include oil and other interests.

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Mr. Abramovich, who is Jewish, is entitled to an Israeli citizenship through Israel's Law of Return, granting citizenship to all people of Jewish lineage.

An unnamed source, familiar with the situation, told Sputnik that the Russian businessman left Israel immediately after he was granted citizenship, having only spent a few hours there.

A spokesman for Abramovich also declined to comment on the report. He bought the hotel from famous actress Gal Gadot's husband and brother-in-law. The move could pay off financially as new Israeli citizens are exempt from paying tax on foreign income for 10 years. The British government has blamed Moscow for the attack, an allegation Russian Federation denies.

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