Russian power continues to undermine London. Portugal’s Abramovich has now lost his visa but the UK is still a paradise for foreign millionaires – Observer

Russian power continues to undermine London.  Portugal's Abramovich has now lost his visa but the UK is still a paradise for foreign millionaires - Observer

The case of this millionaire may show that the British are tightening the ring around Russian citizens in their country for political reasons. But Abramovich may be a victim of his appearance As the owner of one of the largest football clubs in the English Premier League. after every thing , The UK is still seen as a haven for many wealthy foreignersIt is sometimes obtained illegally in countries where the boundaries between politics and business are blurred.

One Chatham House report Earlier this month it paints a bleak picture: “The UK has taken new measures to combat money laundering and illicit financing, but they haven’t had much impact,” its authors say. The influx of money – mostly Russian – “has undermined the integrity of many important British institutions and weakened the rule of law”. According to Transparency InternationalThere are at least 160 properties in the UK that have been bought by people suspected of corruption – 84% of them are in London, most of them within three miles of Buckingham Palace. Many were purchased through companies registered offshore, often in offshore jurisdictions, which may indicate money laundering.

Oliver Polo, journalist and author of the book land of money (ed. Vowels), he has no doubts asserting that this happened due to years when the British authorities turned a blind eye to the origin of Russian money: “It created jobs in London and symbolized how the Russians became glorified capitalists – which made us believe it would make them democrats too.”, says the author to the observer. “It was the events in Ukraine in 2014 that prompted us to re-examine these beliefs.” The invasion of Crimea, Vladimir Putin’s growing hostility to the West, and the Skripal affair have worsened British relations with Moscow in recent years. Abramovich has fallen victim to this environment – but not only because he still has a way around the restrictions, London remains a haven for others like him.

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Abramovich’s case is symbolic for other reasons. This year, the millionaire led a lawsuit in London against Reuters journalist Catherine Pelton, which shows how many of these Russian oligarchs use the justice system to prevent doubts about the origins of their money from circulating in the media space. “The Pelton case was fantastic,” said Observer Elizabeth Schimpfussel, a researcher at Aston University and author of the book. Rich Russians: From Oligarchs to the Bourgeoisie (No Portuguese version.)

Belton, a former Financial Times correspondent in Moscow, is being Defamation lawsuit filed after Abramovich complaint. In the case, excerpts from the book Putin’s People: How the KGB Regained Russia and Then Seized the West, where Bilton writes, based on statements from various sources (some specific, some not), that The owner of Chelsea FC will have acquired the club by order of Vladimir Putin himself. “The Kremlin correctly calculated that the way to gain acceptance in British society was through its greatest love, the national sport,” Bilton wrote in the book, before including direct quotes from sources attributing the idea of ​​the Chelsea purchase to Putin.

The author also writes that “a person close to Abramovich” denies his connection to the Kremlin and declares that “whatever the truth” the Chelsea purchase became “a symbol of Russian money that was sinking the UK”. The millionaire (along with two other Russian oligarchs) decided to sue the journalist and had a positive decision in the first stage of the process: the judge considered, in November, that there The issue is to initiate judgment.

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

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