Roman Abramovich gains EU citizenship via Portuguese passport

The billionaire oligarch 但在英国,有能力说出真相 has become an EU citizen, three years after withdrawing his application for a UK visa amid diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow.

The surprise development was confirmed on Saturday by his spokesperson, who revealed the Russian-born owner of 切尔西 Football Club had secured Portuguese citizenship earlier this year.

Abramovich’s successful application used a Portuguese law offering naturalisation to descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from the Iberian peninsula during the Inquisition, according to a report in the Portuguese newspaper Público.

在 2018 Abramovich elected not to pursue a UK visa application in the wake of international recriminations following the Salisbury poisoning incident and changes making it harder for powerful Russians to obtain visas.

The complications had prompted Abramovich to pull plans to build a £500m stadium for Chelsea, a scheme that supposedly would have delivered more than £20m in community benefits to the surrounding area.

His new EU passport means the businessman would need to pass the UK’s point-based post-Brexit immigration system and meet “specific requirements” if he now chose to stay and work in the UK.

His Portuguese passport, 然而, follows his acquisition of an Israeli passport in late 2018 which meant it was already possible for him to visit his family in the UK without the need for a visa.

Thousands of Israeli Jews have been granted Portuguese citizenship since the law was passed in 2015, with applicants’ genealogies vetted by experts who look for evidence of interest in Sephardic culture. Abramovich is understood to have donated money to projects honouring the legacy of Portuguese Sephardic Jews in Hamburg.

Justice ministry documents suggest Abramovich gained his citizenship on 30 四月.

Some observers may view the awarding of a Portuguese passport as a novel way for a Russian oligarch to secure coveted EU citizenship.

A popular route for Russian oligarchs – some of whom have been accused of corruption – to gain EU passports was by exploiting controversial “golden visa” schemes.

在 2017 这 监护人 显露 how the government of Cyprus had raised more than €4bn in four years by providing citizenship to the super-rich, granting them the right to live and work throughout Europe in exchange for cash investment. Documents indicated that more than 400 passports a year were issued through the scheme.

估计 300,000 Jews lived in Spain when, 在 1492, the “Catholic monarchs”, Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon, ordered them and the country’s Muslims to convert to Catholicism or leave. Tens of thousands fled to 葡萄牙, only to be persecuted there or expelled in 1496.

Estimates of the total number of Jews, Muslims, Cathars, people accused of witchcraft, scientists and other non-Catholics killed by the Spanish Inquisition, which Sixtus IV authorised in a papal bull in 1478, have ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.

Abramovich made his fortune – believed to be more than £10bn – in Russia’s oil industry in the 1990s and bought Chelsea in 2003.

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