Roman Abramovich goes for Israeli citizenship after UK visa denial

Roman Abramovich goes for Israeli citizenship after UK visa denial
Roman Abramovich and Daria Zhukova celebrating Hanukkah. Israel, 2014

Abramovich has long been fond of Israel: investing in Israeli startups and building a mansion of 1.5 sq.m. in Tel Aviv. Since the UK refused to extend Abramovich's visa, he is going to obtain an Israeli passport.

The Russian businessman and owner of the British Chelsea arrives in Israel Thursday to undergo the procedure of obtaining Israeli citizenship, the local newspaper Israel Hayom said.

Abramovich decided to do so given the UK visa issues he has been having lately. As previously reported, his previous British visa expired at the end of April; hence the Chelsea owner was unable to attend the final match of the FA Cup, where his club beat Manchester United.

The publication reminds that the Russian oligarch has long been fond of Israel. Currently, Abramovich is building a spacious mansion in the prestigious Tel Aviv district of Neve Tzedek. The Israeli newspaper Globes reported that Roman Abramovich purchased the 1.500 sq.m. property for construction purposes back in April 2015, together with The Varsano, a one-story hotel complex built on it. The Tel Aviv real estate cost the billionaire $25 million.

Abramovich reportedly wanted to have his own real estate to develop his business ties with Israel. He has been actively investing in Israeli technology start-ups through his funds Norma Investments, Ervington Investments and Millhouse. Among Roman Abramovich’s investment projects in Israel are StoreDot, MelCap, Via, AcousticEye and others, as well as the Russian-Israeli telemedicine service Medviser, in which the billionaire invested $500.000.

In January 2018, The Jerusalem Post said that Roman Abramovich donated $30 million to Tel Aviv University for the construction of a nanotechnology center. The center is expected to have 16 laboratories and become the Middle East leading institution of its field. According to Israel Hayom, Abramovich donated 70 million shekels (about $20 million) for the construction of a nuclear medicine research center at the Sheba medical center.

Alexander Boroda, vice-president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FCJR), estimated Roman Abramovich’s contribution in the Jewish diaspora of Russia, other countries and the state of Israel at half a billion dollars over the last 20 years. Abramovich’s Millhouse confirmed the figure. 

Tags: Oligarchs
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