Russian Billionaire Abramovich Takes Israeli Citizenship

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -
Roman Abramovich
Roman Abramovich (Reuters/Olivia Harris/File)

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who has found himself without a visa to Britain, took Israeli citizenship on Monday and will move to Tel Aviv where he has bought a property, an Israeli media report said.

Abramovich has been counted as one of the richest men in Britain. His British visa expired last month and sources have told Reuters it was taking longer than usual to get it renewed. The British government has declined to comment on his case.

The Ynet website said Abramovich, who is Jewish, jetted into Tel Aviv on Monday and received documents confirming his status as an Israeli citizen.

An Israeli immigration absorption ministry spokeswoman declined to comment on the report, citing individual privacy, but a spokeswoman for the Population Administration which oversees border control confirmed that Abramovich was in Israel.

A spokesman for Abramovich also declined to comment on the report.

Abramovich has been a regular visitor to Israel and Ynet said he had bought a property that was formerly a hotel, in an old Tel Aviv neighborhood close to the Mediterranean shore.