The club owner from London has not had a Class 1 investor visa since 2018, which entitles him to permanently reside and work in the UK. He lost it after then-Prime Minister Theresa May imposed sanctions on Russia and expelled 23 diplomats in response to the poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.
Abramowicz’s problems with the visa
British media said it was unlikely the 55-year-old would be allowed to live in the UK again. Officials there are said to have detailed instructions to prevent him from obtaining a permanent residence permit. The Special Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Interior is handling the case.
Last Tuesday, British MPs chose Roman Abramovich as one of 35 members of the oligarchy identified by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. It was supposed to be “one of the main factors in favor of the kleptocracy system” led by the country’s president, Vladimir Putin.
In the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine, Great Britain announced that it would impose sanctions on the country. On this occasion, Abramovich vehemently denied being close to the Kremlin or doing something that would authorize officials to impose sanctions on him.
Politicians call for sanctions against Abramovich
In 2018, Roman Abramovich became an Israeli citizen, thanks to which he was able to enter Great Britain for six months. In October last year, he, in turn, used an Israeli passport to make a short trip to London. Now the British media claims that “any attempt by the oligarch to apply for a permanent visa will almost certainly be rejected.”
On Tuesday, in the House of Commons, Liberal Democratic Party MP Leyla Moran read out a list that included Abramovich’s name along with other ruling oligarchs, including Arsenal investor Alisher Usmanov. Secretary of State Liz Truss declined to say whether Abramovich would be subject to sanctions, but indicated that others would.
We have a long list of complicity in the actions of Russian leaders. If Russia refuses to withdraw its forces, we can continue to fan the flames by attacking more banks, elites, and high-profile corporations. It’s about inflicting pain on Putin and weakening the Russian economic system over time, and targeting Putin’s cronies. We have to make it as painful as possible,” Truss commented.
Labor MP Chris Bryant admitted that Abramovich no longer owns Chelsea. As part of HMG’s Russian strategy to target illicit financing and malign activities, Abramovich remains interested in HMG because of its ties to the Russian state and its public relations with corrupt activities and practices. HMG is focused on ensuring that its relations cannot stabilize in the UK and will use the appropriate tools at its disposal, including the immigration authorities, to prevent this from happening. That was nearly three years ago, yet not much has been done in this regard. Certainly, he said, Abramovich should no longer own a football club in this country.
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