Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Russian Billionaire Abramovich Gets Israeli Passport Amidst UK Visa Issue



Increasingly, the oligarchs are either fleeing to the West or adapting to increasing control by the state. First, it was Berezovsky. Then, it was Khodorkovsky. Now, it’s Abramovich. Russia is turning up the heat on the looters of the Nasty Nineties. I feel no compassion for these bloodsuckers. They stashed a lot of boodle in the West. They won’t suffer. Slowly, but surely, Russia is turning its back on that noisome decade. It won’t return to the USSR as it was, but it won’t return to the Nasty Nineties, either. A new synthesis is arising; it’ll take some time to show its true outlines. However, I’ll confide that it’d embody the best of the USSR, the Empire, and Old Russia. It’s all ours… or none of it is ours.



The move came after Abramovich failed to extend his UK visa amidst Moscow-London diplomatic tensions. On Monday, The Times of Israel reported that Russian billionaire and owner of the British Football Club Chelsea R A Abramovich obtained Israeli citizenship. According to the Times, he arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv earlier in the day and got an Israeli passport under the Law of Return due to his Jewish ethnicity. As reported by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Abramovich already opened a bank account in Israel. Previously, media reports stated that his decision to immigrate to Israel came amidst the diplomatic conflict between Moscow and London, a result of which being that he couldn’t extend his UK visa. His previous visa reportedly expired in April, when he was outside of Britain. Reportedly, his application for an extension is under consideration.

Last week, the UK House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Select Committee issued a report “Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK”, in which it called on the UK government to boost sanctions against people close to the Kremlin, as well as those responsible for human rights violations. The committee also asked the UK government to work with the USA, the EU, and the G7 countries to tighten the sanctions regime on Russian sovereign debt. On Wednesday, in response, Ministry of Foreign Affairs source M V Zakharova said that the UK campaign against alleged Russian corruption in Britain looks laughable since London has long attracted foreign funds regardless of their origin and refuses to extradite criminals charged in Russia with corruption.

Over the last couple of months, after the alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yuliya with a deadly nerve agent, UK-Russian relations became increasingly strained. Both Skripals are out of hospital. The UK blamed Moscow for the attack and decided to expel Russian diplomats as a response. Russian officials strongly denied any involvement in the case.

28 May 2018

Sputnik International



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