Sources say Russian billionaire with close ties to Israel hasn’t had proper papers for three weeks, amid diplomatic spat between Moscow and London; spokesman declines comment
Russian state media on Sunday cited reports that Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich’s British visa has run out, while his spokesman declined to comment.
The New York Times also reported on the matter, saying Abramovich had missed his team’s victorious game at the FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday, due to the visa troubles.
Russian state news agency TASS and other media picked up a report on The Bell website, which said an acquaintance of Abramovich and two in his inner circle had told it the billionaire’s British visa ran out three weeks ago and he is waiting for a new one.
Amid a spiraling diplomatic crisis between Britain and Russia over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent, there have been calls in Britain for sanctions that would hurt super-rich Russians who have homes in London.
British Security Minister Ben Wallace in February said Russian oligarchs suspected of corruption would be forced to explain their wealth in a new clampdown on organised crime
Abramovich formally has residency in Jersey in the Channel Islands, a tax haven, but has never taken it up. The Sunday Times put his wealth at 9.3 billion pounds ($12.5 billion) on its Rich List this year. He has owned Chelsea since 2003.