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Abramovich to look to Israel after visa trouble?

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RUSSIAN billionaire Roman Abramovich, who has been given Jersey residency rights, is seeking Israeli citizenship after having difficulties renewing his British visa, it is understood.

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich

Reports in the Israeli media say that the Chelsea FC owner flew to the Middle Eastern state on Thursday and he is rumoured to want to immigrate there and live in Tel Aviv.

The development comes after the renewal of Mr Abramovich’s British visa was delayed, reportedly leaving him stranded in Russia and unable to enter the UK. It is believed that he missed the FA cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United as a result of the delay.

It is understood that the oil and aluminium tycoon could also be barred from entering Jersey, which aligns its visa policy with that of the UK.

Speculation has grown that the decision to delay Mr Abramovich’s visa is a result of the UK’s deteriorating relations with Russia following the poisoning of former-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter with the nerve agent Novichok – an attack which has been blamed on the Kremlin by the British authorities.

In response, the UK government, which considers the use of its economic and financial influence as one of its most effective tools against Moscow, is reviewing its policy towards the sizeable number of wealthy Russians who have interests in the UK, such as Mr Abramovich.

The JEP revealed earlier this year that Mr Abramovich has been granted the right to live in Jersey as a ‘high value resident’. It is unknown at this time whether he had bought any property in the Island.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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