Chelsea's Russian owner Abramovich set to be barred from living in UK
As a result of the Ukraine-Russia crisis, the UK government is set to bar Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich from ever being able to settle in the country.
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich arrived in London in 2003, purchasing Chelsea FC and turning the Premier League club into regular challengers for the top silverware. Indeed, the Blues have won every club trophy possible since Abramovich took over. His alleged links with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Ukraine-Russia crisis, are set to prevent him from ever living in the United Kingdom or seeking British citizenship.
Chelsea owner withdrew visa application in 2018
In 2018, Abramovich had already withdrawn an application for an investor visa in the UK, amid heightened tensions between Britain and Russia following the Salisbury poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. The 55-year-old then sought citizenship in Israel, and has used his Israeli passport to enter the UK since then.
On Tuesday, his name was among 35 oligarchs identified by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as Putin’s chief enablers, something that Abramovich denies. Arsenal investor Alisher Usmanov also appeared on the list. The British parliament has backed sanctions against them, and the UK Home Office will reportedly make sure they cannot settle in the country.
Abramovich has never done so, despite, in addition to Chelsea, owning a mansion in the UK capital valued at over $160 million, and a company - mining and steel giant Evraz - that trades on the London stock exchange. He obtained the bulk of his fortune by buying and selling public Soviet assets when the USSR dissolved.
UK "can keep turning up the heat", says foreign secretary
The UK’s foreign secretary, Liz Truss, explained in parliament: “We have a long list of those complicit in the actions of the Russian leadership. Should Russia refuse to pull back its troops we can keep turning up the heat, targeting more banks, elites and companies of significance.”
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