Roman Abramovich, Britain’s best known Russian oligarch
.. Since he bought Chelsea—a purchase that made him a household name—Abramovich, more than any other Russian billionaire, has personified to the British public what oligarchs do and are. They buy soccer teams. They buy art. They get divorced. They are absentee governors of remote parts of Siberia. Their fortunes rise and fall according to their relationships with Vladimir Putin.
.. If the U.K. has decided it is no longer willing to take Abramovich’s money or—at the very least—to help him transform it from one asset class into another, this is quite a departure.
.. passengers on the flight were subjected to the kind of bureaucratic oddities that I have sometimes come across when reporting in Eastern Europe.
.. According to anti-money-laundering campaigners, in the last two decades around a hundred billion pounds of Russian money have come through London and been reinvested in property, commodities, and financial instruments
.. Between 2008 and 2015, the British government granted so-called investor visas to some seven hundred Russian citizens, who were each willing to spend two million pounds in the country.
.. During the same period, Russian oligarchs and Kremlin-connected businesses hired some of London’s finest bankers and lawyers to protect them from the closing circles of international sanctions and financial regulations.
.. On March 16th, two days after May expelled the diplomats, Russia raised four billion dollars from sovereign-debt sales on London’s bond markets.
.. The previous day, the Russian oil giant Gazprom had raised seven hundred and fifty million euros in bond sales in the city. “Business as usual?” the Russian Embassy tweeted.
.. On June 14th, the soccer World Cup kicks off in Moscow.
.. An estimated thirty thousand England fans will travel to the country to watch the national team play