The barred means that the Russian billionaire who is a very close associate of the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, might not be permitted to ever live in Britain as part of sanctions the UK government is putting together against Russia.
Over the years, Russia and Ukraine have been in longer heads over the struggle for the control of Ukraine’s Crimean region. Since March 2014, Russian troops have been in control of the peninsula which Russia has officially annexed.
Even though Russia has annexed the peninsula after most people of the peninsula voted to join Russia, the Ukrainian government has been pushing to regain the territory. Hence, the struggle has given birth to a series of rebels fighting against themselves in eastern Ukraine.
The fact that Ukraine has refused to let go of the peninsula has forced president Putin to order a full-blown invasion of Ukraine on Thursday morning, February 24, 2022, killing scores of civilians.
Why was Roman Abramovich linked to the Russia vs Ukraine crisis?
Roman Abramovich is a politician and a businessman in Russia who has investments across the world, especially in Russia and England. His most prominent investment is Chelsea football club which he bought in June 2003 from Ken Bates for over £140 million.
Over two years ago, the UK government reportedly limited his access in the country which prevented him from watching Chelsea’s games at Stamford Bridge. He suffered the sanction because he was reportedly acting as a spy to the Russian government.
Ahead of the sanction, he had to withdraw his application for a British Tier 1 investor visa in 2018 because of the criticism of Russian oligarchs over the Salisbury poisonings.
On Tuesday this week, MPs named Roman Abramovich as one of the 35 oligarchs identified by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as one of the people behind president Vladimir Putin’s ruthless leadership.
Though reports claimed that Abramovich has denied having anything to do with the leadership of Putin, he has become one of the prominent Russian citizens to suffer the repercussion of Putin’s ruthlessness.
What does the UK ban mean to Abramovich and Chelsea?
Though Chelsea is owned and controlled by Roman Abramovich, the reported ban on the Russian billionaire would have no direct effect on Chelsea.
The Premier League club is run as an independent company under Chelsea Village PLC. Hence, the club would keep enjoying Abramovich’s direct investment until he decides to sell his stake in the club to another investor.
As it stands, Abramovich will be affected by the ban on the basis that he would no longer gain access to his £125million mansion near Kensington Palace. He would not also be able to watch Chelsea’s games at Stamford Bridge as it used to before 2019.
The 55-year-old Russian billionaire is under close watch by Home Office’s ‘Special Cases Unit’. Though Abramovich who is worth over £8.4billion has an Israeli passport which he used to visit London in October 2021, he would no longer be able to apply for British citizenship according to The Sun.
At the time of publishing this report, Abramovich or his representatives were yet to counter the reported ban the UK government placed on him in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
If the report that he has been banned from living in Britain is anything to go by, Abramovich might no longer have the right to station his £450million Solaris superyachts on British waters.