Media reveal that Abramovich proposed British goverment to send money received after selling Chelsea to Israel instead of Ukraine
Abramovich proposed to transfer 2.3 billion pounds sterling received from the sale of Chelsea to Israel instead of Ukraine, according to Telegraph Sport. According to another version, it was influential Israelis who suggested that all the funds be sent to their country, which suffered from a Hamas attack.
British officials rejected this proposal, and some ministers suggested that it was an attempt by the scandalous oligarch to avoid condemnation in Russia.
Abramovich first promised to pay compensation to "all victims of the war in Ukraine" after he put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 last year. Eight days later, he was sanctioned for alleged ties to Vladimir Putin.
All the proceeds from the sale were transferred to the foundation, which was supposed to redirect the money to the victims of the war in our country. However, as the huge fund remained untouched in a frozen account, and the UK and Europe insisted that it be spent exclusively within Ukraine's borders, alternative proposals for its assets were privately put forward.
Sources close to the negotiators have expressed conflicting views on whether the idea to spend the money in Israel was Abramovich's own or the country where he was granted citizenship in 2018, Russia.
An insider familiar with the UK's position said Moscow's stance explains why the fund remains in limbo in a frozen bank account in London after 18 months.
"Abramovich doesn't want Russia to shame him for spending money on Ukraine," the insider said of the current impasse.
In addition to potentially using the money for humanitarian purposes in Israel after October 7, Abramovich allegedly proposed the option of helping victims of the February earthquake in Turkey, with which he also had recent ties. This option was rejected by the British authorities as well.
Other sources say that the plan was discussed by Israel, and Abramovich knew nothing about it.
"I know that during state visits, the Israelis asked the UK (as Roman is such a big donor to Israel) if they would consider licensing any of his assets, not just Chelsea, to be donated to the rebuilding of Israel," an anonymous source told Telegraph Sport. The funds were to be used for humanitarian purposes in southern Israel.
"As far as I understand, the UK government rejected the proposal," the source added.
Before the sanctions were imposed last year, Abramovich's ties with Israel were becoming increasingly close. One of the projects signed before Russia's war with Ukraine was to finance the planting of a forest in southern Israel dedicated to Lithuanian Jews who were victims of the Holocaust.
As OBOZ.UA reported, the money from the sale of Chelsea may not reach Ukraine. In June 2023, it became known that Abramovich wanted some of the money to go to Russia or rather to Russians affected by the conflict.