Abramovich 'granted Israeli citizenship' as UK reviews oligarch visas

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been granted Israeli citizenship as he remains blocked from returning to London, .

One of the world's richest men - his visa is taking "longer than usual" to get renewed. Some have speculated that Abramovich wants Israeli citizenship so that he can enter Britain without a visa.

The Tier 1 investor visa that Abramovich has used to visit London regularly in recent years expired in April, and has yet to be renewed amid reports that United Kingdom authorities had demanded that he declare the source of his vast fortune as political tensions with Russian Federation escalate.

Relations between Moscow and London have been strained since the poisoning in Salisbury of the former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March.

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Abramovich has not commented on recent developments.

Abramovich, worth an estimated £8.6billion, exercised his right under Israel's Law of Return, which grants citizenship to Jews wishing to move there.

Abramovich bought Chelsea FC in 2003.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it was Abramovich's right to take Israeli citizenship.

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The Ynet website that belongs to Israel's biggest-selling daily, Yedioth Aharonoth, said Abramovich, who is Jewish, jetted into Tel Aviv on Monday and had received documents confirming his status as an Israeli citizen. British authorities have declined to comment, saying they do not routinely comment on individual cases.

Britain has blamed the attack on Russian Federation but the Kremlin denies any involvement.

Abramovich, who is Jewish and has been a regular visitor to Israel, has donated millions to Israeli research and development projects and invested in local firms.

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