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British visa extension is Abramovich’s problem, not Kremlin’s, says spokesman

May 22, 13:58 UTC+3

On Sunday, The Bell portal reported citing sources close to Abramovich that the United Kingdom’s authorities have not extended the businessman’s investor visa

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Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich

© EPA-EFE/ANTHONY ANEX

MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. It is outside the Kremlin’s competences to tackle issues related to the British visa to Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, it is up to him to settle them, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"This issue is outside our competences," he said. "Once certain requirements are advanced (to disclose the origin of his assets to extend his British visa - TASS), it is, probably, up to him to make conclusions as to their legitimacy, not us," Peskov said.

On Sunday, The Bell portal reported citing sources close to Abramovich that the United Kingdom’s authorities have not extended the businessman’s investor visa. According to the report, the previous visa expired more than three weeks ago and no new visa has been issued. Thus, Abramovich was unable to attend the final of the Football Association Challenge Cup where his Chelsea club defeated Manchester United.

On Tuesday, The Guardian said the Russian billionaire could be requited to disclose the source of his financial assets to extend his visa. The newspaper cited a spokesperson for the British Prime Minister’s Office as saying that although the office typically refrained from commenting on individual cases, it would be a "logical conclusion" that some of the rich applicants for British visas may not be granted them following the changes.

Following amendments to British laws of 2015, Abramovich may have to face tougher requirements when reapplying for a new visa, which should be done from outside the United Kingdom. His application may be turned down should the British authorities arrive at a conclusion that he is not in control of his assets, or the funds have been obtained illegally, or granting a visa may not be beneficial for public good, the newspaper writes.

Abramovich is ranked 13th in The Sunday Times Rich List 2017, with a personal wealth of $12.64 bln.

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