Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in limbo after UK visa expires

Moscow: British authorities have not renewed Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's visa after it expired last month.

Abramovich, best known in the UK as the owner of Premier League football club Chelsea, is in the process of renewing his visa as part of a standard procedure, sources told Reuters.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

The process was taking longer than usual but there was no indication that the visa would not be renewed as there has been no refusal or negative feedback, he added.

Millhouse, the company that manages Abramovich's assets, declined to comment. Britain's Home Office could not be reached for comment.

Abramovich did not attend Saturday's FA Cup final in London – the showpiece end to the English football season that saw Chelsea beat Manchester United. It was not clear where he is currently staying.

Relations between Britain and Russia hit a low after London accused Moscow of poisoning former double-agent Sergei Skripal in Britain in March, prompting countries around the world to expel scores of Russian diplomats. Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning and retaliated in kind.

Bob Seely, a Conservative MP Bob Seely told the Financial Times newspaper that it was possible the Britis government was "becoming less sympathetic to Russian oligarchs" following the Skripal affair.

Abramovich made his fortune in the oil industry in the 1990s in Russia and bought Chelsea in 2003 since when he has helped to transform the club into one of the most successful in the Premier League.


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