Russian billionaire Abramovich obtains Portuguese citizenship
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich obtained Portuguese citizenship through his Jewish ancestors after years of failed visa and residency applications elsewhere in Europe, media reported Thursday.
Abramovich became an EU citizen after withdrawing his application for residency with non-EU Switzerland in 2017 due to Swiss concerns about reputational and public safety risks and the UK did not extended his visa in 2018. The Russian-born mogul and Chelsea The owner of a football club has also had Israeli citizenship since 2018.
Portugal’s justice ministry said it approved Abramovich‘s candidacy for naturalization on April 13, 2021, according to AFP.
“He proved that he was a descendant of Portuguese Sephardic Jews thanks to a certificate issued by the Israelite community of Porto,” said a spokesperson for the ministry.
According to the Jewish News Syndicate, Abramovich is a honorary member of several Portuguese Jewish organizations.
Portugal has offered passports since 2015 to those who can prove family ties to Sephardic Jews who were expelled or forcibly converted to Christianity at the end of the 15th century.
Abramovich, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $ 14.4 billion, automatically becomes the richest person in Portugal.
He is also the richest person in Lithuania, where his paternal grandparents fled Belarus to escape the Bolshevik revolution. They were captured and deported to Siberia after the annexation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union.
Forbes ranks Abramovich 142nd in its global billionaire ranking.