A Russian billionaire who's also the high-profile owner of Britain's famous Chelsea soccer team may be having problems getting his visa renewed there. Sources say Roman Abramovich is suffering from unknown delays to what should be a routine process. He hasn't been publicly accused of any wrongdoing.
But he may be caught in the deepening chill between Britain and his homeland. Reuters Financial Columnist, George Hay.>> Well in the aftermath of the financial crisis, basically between 2008 and 2015, a huge number of these so-called golden visas were issued to rich internationals, not just Russians. And the deal was, you basically invest a couple of million, and you got your visa, effectively no questions asked.
And now with international tensions being what they are, politicians are looking again at that period and saying, should those visas have been granted?>> It’s not clear if Abramovich had one of those visas, and he couldn't be reached for comment. But Britain and other Western countries have long sought to apply pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin by hitting his country's aristocracy.
Meanwhile a British parliamentary committee said on Monday that assets owned by Russian's in London could be undermining that pressure. Its long been alleged that Russians elites among other nationalities, were hiding wealth gained through elicit means or subject to sanctions. By buying up assets like luxury properties and companies in London.
In other words, money laundering. The Kremlin says it's all Russia-phobic hysteria.