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Media: Abramovich's son received new Lithuanian passport in October 2023

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 5, 2024 7:12 PM 3 min read
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich attends a meeting at the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 19, 2016. (Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
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Roman Abramovich's son received a new Lithuanian passport in October 2023, over a year after his father was added to the EU sanctions list, the Siena Center for Investigative Journalism in Vilnius reported on Jan. 5.

The Lithuanian Interior Ministry announced on Dec. 7. that it was investigating the circumstances around how Abramovich's children, Arkady and Anna, obtained Lithuanian citizenship after the Siena Center published an investigation on the issue.

Assessing information from leaked documents dubbed "Cyprus Confidential," the Siena Center discovered that Abramovich had named the two children beneficiaries in one of his funds, which may have helped him circumvent U.S., U.K., and EU sanctions.

Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said there were plans to amend the law to allow the government to revoke the Lithuanian citizenship of dual nationals deemed to pose a national security threat or express support for a state that threatens Lithuania, EU member states, and allies.

The Siena Center reported on Jan. 5 that Anna Abramovich received a Lithuanian passport in October 2011 and renewed the document in May 2021.

Roman Abramovich's grandparents came from Lithuania, which gave his children the right to apply for Lithuanian citizenship according to the law at the time.

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He also had the right to apply for a Lithuanian passport himself but did not do this, Lithuania's Migration Department told Siena Center journalists. Abramovich has Russian, Israeli, and Portuguese citizenship.

According to the Siena Center, his son Arkady received a passport in 2013 through a procedure whereby Lithuanian citizenship was "restored" to him by order of the then Interior Minister Dailis Alfonsas Barakauskas.

Arkady Abramovich was then issued a new Lithuanian passport in October 2023, 20 months into the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions against his father and other Russian oligarchs.

Roman Abramovich filed a challenge against the EU decision to apply sanctions against him at a court in Brussels, saying that he had no influence over the Kremlin's decisions and that his business interests were not connected to the war. He lost the appeal on Dec. 20.

Abramovich has a net worth estimated to be around $9 billion. He was formerly the governor of the Chukotka region in Russia's far east and previously owned the U.K. Chelsea football club, which he was forced to sell after the outbreak of the full-scale invasion.

Lithuania has been a strong partner of Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion and is also among the leading donors to Ukraine in terms of gross domestic product shares.

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