Billionaire Roman Abramovich of Russia became Israel’s wealthiest citizen on Monday, making aliyah upon arrival in his private jet.
A Jew entitled to Israeli citizenship by law, Abramovich is now a permanent Israeli resident. The owner of the celebrated Chelsea Football Club, he had been living in London for years, but was informed that his UK visa would not be renewed.
The United Kingdom has attempted to push out Russian oligarchs in recent months following the poisonings of Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March. Abramovich also reportedly holds close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
More than 30 powerful Russian Jewish businesspeople have opted to obtain Israeli citizenship in recent years.
Abramovich has invested in more than a dozen Israel startups and venture funds since 2015, acquiring equity through two of his investment firms: Ervington Investments and Millhouse Capital.
Earlier this week, Tel Aviv University announced that Abramovich donated $30 million to build a new Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. In March, he donated $20 million to go to a new nuclear medical facility at Israel’s largest hospital, Sheba Medical Center.