Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich becomes Israeli citizen

The Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovish has become an Israeli citizen.

Russian Jewish billionaire arrived in Israel on Monday after receiving citizenship of the Jewish state, local Channel 10 television reported.

Jewish, exercised his right under Israel’s Law of Return, which states that Jews from anywhere in the world can become citizens of Israel.

Mr Abramovich is worth $11.5bn (£8.6bn), according to Forbes magazine. The move could pay off financially as new Israeli citizens are exempt from paying tax on foreign income for 10 years.

An official at Nativ, a department of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office dealing with Jewish communities in the ex-Soviet Union, said Abramovich had applied for an immigration visa at Israel’s embassy in Moscow, the station said earlier on its website.

Mr Abramovich, 51, would be the richest person in Israel.

His UK investor visa reportedly expired some weeks ago but the British government has refused to comment on his individual case.

The delay in issuing him a new one comes amid increased diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in southern England.

It is unclear if the UK decided to reject his application permanently but a source familiar with the matter told The Daily Telegraph that the renewal process seemed to be taking an unusually long time.

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