Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich ‘has been effectively BARRED from living in Britain’… as he is named as one of the ‘key enablers’ of Vladimir Putin’s regime
Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich is reported to have been effectively barred from living in Britain ever again.
The billionaire has not been seen at his Premier League football club’s south-west London home, Stamford Bridge, for months
He withdrew his application for a British Tier 1 investor visa in 2018, after reported delays in his application following criticism of Russian oligarchs in the wake of the Salisbury poisonings.
According to The Sun, senior security sources now say it is unlikely that the 55-year-old will ever be allowed to live in Britain again.
Immigration officials are reportedly under instructions to make it impossible for Mr Abramovich – who owns a £125million mansion near Kensington Palace – to base himself in the UK.
His case is said to be being handled by the Home Office’s ‘Special Cases Unit’.
It comes after Mr Abramovich was named by MPs on Tuesday as being one of 35 oligarchs identified by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as one of the ‘key enablers’ of the ‘kleptocracy’ run by the country’s president Vladimir Putin.
He vehemently denies he is close to the Kremlin or has done anything that would merit sanctions being imposed against him – as Britain looked to impose sanctions on Russia amid rising tensions with Ukraine.
In 2018 Mr Abramovich became an Israeli citizen, allowing him to enter for Britain for up to six months.
He used his Israeli passport last October to make a short trip to London.
However, a senior source told The Sun that any attempt by the oligarch to apply for a permanent visa would ‘almost certainly be rejected’.
Mr Abramovich has an estimated wealth of £8.4billion.
As well as his huge property portfolio, he also owns a series of superyachts, including the £450million Solaris, which has a missile detection system.
Mr Abramovich has never held UK citizenship and made his money selling assets purchased from the state when the Soviet Union broke up.
He arrived at Chelsea in 2003 and transformed the team from outside challengers to a Premier League giant with the help of Jose Mourinho.
The bulk of Abramovich’s UK wealth is to be found in Evraz, a steel and mining giant listed on the London stock market.
In the Commons on Tuesday, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran read out a list that featured Mr Abramovich’s name alongside other oligarchs including Arsenal investor Alisher Usmanov.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, whose money turned the club into a football powerhouse
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss refused to say whether or not Mr Abramovich would be targeted with sanctions, but suggested that others would be.
‘We have a long list of those complicit in the actions of the Russian leadership,’ she said.
‘Should Russia refuse to pull back its troops, we can keep turning up the heat, targeting more banks, elites and companies of significance.
‘This is about inflicting pain on Putin and degrading the Russian economic system over time, targeting people that are close to Putin. What we have to do is make it as painful as possible.’
Mr Johnson yesterday held talks with senior City figures about ways to tighten the screws on Russian businesses and individuals with links to the Kremlin.
The PM told the Commons that the Government was ‘bringing forward’ the next wave of sanctions which would ‘stop all Russian banks, all oligarchs, all Russian individuals raising money on London markets
The Russian billionaire, 54, reportedly boasts a British property empire that includes a 15-bedroom mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens (pictured) that is believed to be now worth £125 million
Ministers are also drawing up plans to stop the Kremlin borrowing on the UK financial markets.
Tory MP Bob Seely said the ‘tide of dirty money’ entering the UK from Russia was ‘damaging’ the country.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was time to end the ‘era of oligarch impunity’ and ensure ‘this country will no longer be homes for their loot’.
As well as his huge property portfolio, he also owns a series of superyachts, including the £450million Solaris (pictured), which has a missile detection system
Mr Johnson acknowledged the impatience of many to move faster, but said it was vital that it was done on a co-ordinated international basis.
‘On all these measures it is very important to remember that they are more effective when all financial centres move forward together, and that is what the UK has been organising,’ he said.
‘We can keep turning up the heat.’