Roman Abramovich ‘eligible to become Israeli citizen’

The Russian-Jewish billionaire owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich, has been found eligible for Israeli citizenship after facing delays in renewing his UK visa.

Immigration officials told the BBC that he was interviewed last week at the Israeli embassy in Moscow.

He has flown to Tel Aviv but a spokesman would not comment on media reports citizenship had been granted.

Mr Abramovich, 51, would be the richest person in Israel.

His UK investor visa reportedly expired some weeks ago but the British government has refused to comment on his individual case.

The delay in issuing him a new one comes amid increased diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in southern England.

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