Russia’s The Bell outlet reported on Sunday Abramovich did not attend Saturday’s FA Cup final in London, the showpiece end to the English football season when Chelsea beat Manchester United, because he did not have a visa.
British authorities, whose relations with Moscow have been strained, are yet to renew Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s visa after it expired last month, two sources familiar with the matter say.
Abramovich, best known in Britain as the owner of Premier League football club Chelsea, is in the process of renewing his visa as part of a standard procedure, one of the sources told Reuters.
The visa application is taking longer than usual but there is no indication that the visa will not be renewed as there is no refusal or negative feedback, the source told Reuters.
Millhouse, the company which manages Abramovich’s assets, declined to comment. Britain’s Home Office could not be reached for comment.
Relations between Britain and Russia hit a low after London accused Moscow of poisoning former double-agent Sergei Skripal in Britain in March, prompting countries around the world to expel scores of Russian diplomats. Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning and retaliated in kind.
Abramovich made his fortune in the oil industry in the 1990s in Russia and bought Chelsea in 2003 since when he has helped to transform the club into one of the most successful in the Premier League.
Ruble Weakens Ahead of Putin’s Inauguration
The Russian ruble weakened in early trade on Monday ahead of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a six-year presidential term that will be followed by the appointment of a new government later this week.
The configuration of the new government is one of the key uncertainties that still hang over the market. Whoever Putin’s protege for the prime minister seat is, the decision is widely expected to be supported by the parliament.
“The market is pricing in appointment of strong economists for the key roles in the government,” Alor Brokerage said in a note.
On Monday morning in Moscow, the ruble was 0.4 percent weaker against the dollar at 62.75 and eased 0.1 percent to trade at 74.28 versus the euro.
Room for a recovery in the ruble, hit hard by U.S. sanctions in April, is limited by expectations that the Russian finance ministry will increase daily purchases of foreign currency for state coffers this month.
Prices for oil, Russia’s key export, play on the upside for the Russian market. Brent crude oil, a global benchmark, was up 0.7 percent at $75.40 a barrel.
Higher oil pushed Russian stock indexes higher.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 1.0 percent to 1,157.9 points, while its ruble-based peer MOEX rose 0.7 percent to 2,305.8 points.