Local newspapers reported today that a private plane belonging to the Russian “oligarch” Roman Abramovich, who also holds Israeli citizenship and is subject to sanctions, landed in Israel last night.
The plane, an LX-RAY model, landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, according to a program that tracks international flights without being able to confirm whether Abramovich, owner of British football club Chelsea, had traveled to Israel.
Abramovich is under sanctions in the UK, Canada and other countries, as are other Russian business tycoons (“oligarchs”) because of his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The European Union announced today that it plans to implement sanctions as part of the coordinated actions by the Group of Seven (Group of Seven Most Advanced Countries) against Russia, due to the invasion of Ukraine.
The decision comes after the Premier League on Saturday withdrew permission for the Chelsea manager, which is part of measures to freeze the billionaire’s assets, by the British government.
The inclusion of Abramovich in the new sanctions list coincides with the opening of an investigation in Portugal to prove whether there were irregularities in granting Portuguese citizenship, claiming that he is descended from Sephardic Jews.
On Saturday, the Judicial Police arrested Porto’s rabbi, Daniel Litvak, for alleged irregularities in the issuance of citizenship certificates to Sephardic Jews, pending development of the process with an identity and residency requirement.
One case of the granting of Portuguese citizenship concerns the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who last year became a Portuguese citizen under the Sephardic Jewish Nationality Law.
The possibility of the presence of the Russian businessman in Israel increases the controversy that arose after the news that was published in the country about the presence of the Russian “oligarch” of Jewish origin in Israeli territory.
So far, Israel has not applied sanctions against Russia, with which it maintains a “balanced position” due to the alliance for security in the Middle East, and many Jewish billionaires associated with the Kremlin have had Israeli travel documents for several years.
Abramovich, an Israeli citizen since 2018, is currently the second richest person in that country.
Two days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the billionaire made a millionaire donation to the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem (Yad Vashem), but the foundation decided to part with the money and announced two weeks after the invasion that it had cut ties with Abramovich.
The United States recently urged Israel to join countries that have pushed forward sanctions against Russia and business tycoons linked to Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Today, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that his country “will not be a way to evade the sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western countries on Russia.”
Lapid added that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economy and Energy are reviewing the matter with the Bank of Israel and the Airport Authority.
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