Roman Abramovich spared Russia sanctions as MPs question Chelsea ownership

Roman Abramovich has been a topic of discussion in Parliament over the last few days.

European football is currently feeling the effects of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich one name that has made the headlines.

The Russian reportedly has a good relationship with Vladimir Putin and it was thought he may suffer the sanctions Boris Johnson intended on imposing as a result of Russia’s actions.

In recent days it had been reported that Abramovich most likely wouldn’t be allowed to return to Britain, while MPs were calling for him to lose his Chelsea ownership.

However, the billionaire has since escaped sanctions as the Prime Minister froze hundreds of British-based Russian assets in retaliation to the Ukraine invasion.

No reasons have been given by the Government sources as to why Abramovich wasn’t included.

Labour MP, Chris Bryant, had previously cited a document linking the 55-year-old with ‘corrupt activity’ and warned he should no longer be able to own the Premier League football club.

During parliamentary discussion over the UK’s response to the crisis, Bryant told MPs: “An example of this is Abramovich admitting in court proceedings that he paid for political influence.

“Therefore HMG is focused on ensuring individuals linked to illicit finance and malign activity are unable to base themselves in the UK and will use the relevant tools at its disposal, including immigration powers to prevent this’.”

Bryant added: “That is nearly three years ago and yet remarkably little has been done in relation.

“Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country? Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets including his £152 million home? And making sure that other people who have had Tier 1 Visas like this are not engaged in malign activity?”

The Government are believed to be preparing a further sanctions list of Russian oligarchs, banks and companies but any future names are unclear.