Roman Abramovich jet lands in Turkey after Chelsea owner, Russian tycoon shows up in Israel amid Ukraine sanctions

A jet with links to sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich arrived in Istanbul from Israel on Monday, shortly after he was seen at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

The Chelsea FC boss was among seven Russian billionaires placed on a sanctions list by Britain last week to try to isolate President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. European Union diplomats have accepted a similar move.

The Russian tycoon, who also holds Israeli and Portuguese citizenship, has denied having a close relationship with Putin.

One photo shows Abramovich sitting in a Tel Aviv airport VIP lounge with a mask pulled down over his chin. Reuters could not verify whether he was on the flight.

A source said the plane Abramovich was using flew from Moscow to Ben Gurion late on Sunday. Flight tracking website FLIGHTRADAR24 said the plane, which has tail number LX-RAY and is a large Gulfstream business jet, landed in Istanbul on Monday after leaving Israel.

According to a source citing flight plans, it was not scheduled to fly from Istanbul after landing and remained there. According to tracking data, the plane was also in Turkey last week.

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, is home to the headquarters of AB Grup Holding, a company run by Muhsin Bayrak, who has publicly expressed interest in buying Premier League club Chelsea from Abramovich .

Bayrak has interests in construction, energy and real estate, and said he spoke with Abramovich about the buying process.

Last week, Abramovich said he was selling the club to London, but that sale is currently on hold as Chelsea operate under a special government license and the Premier League leadership has stripped the club of its directorship. his set.

A UK Transport Department source on Friday said Britain was looking for helicopters and jets belonging to sanctioned tycoons.

Many properties including luxury yachts worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been seized by European authorities in recent days.

According to tracking websites Marine Traffic and Vessel Finder, Abramovich’s $600 million Solaris yacht has left Montenegro for Istanbul. But by 2030 GMT, the ship’s status changed to “pending order” and its destination was removed.

NATO member Turkey has close ties to both Kyiv and Moscow and has balanced criticism of the Ukraine invasion with opposition to Western sanctions on Moscow. Russia calls the move into Ukraine a “special military operation”.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 on Friday, Victoria Nuland, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, said Washington is asking Israel to participate in financial and export sanctions. against Russia.

Speaking in Slovakia, which shares a border with Ukraine, the visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Israel “will not be the way to circumvent the sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western countries.” Russia”.

Lapid did not say directly whether Israel is considering sanctions of its own. But he said the State Department was “coordinating the matter with partners including the Bank of Israel, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, the Airport Authority, the Ministry of Energy and others”.

Asked for more details, the Bank of Israel said in a statement that it “constantly monitors developments in the payment system, markets and financial system.”

Any Israeli sanctions could complicate efforts by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to mediate the Russia-Ukraine crisis. He held talks in Moscow with Putin on March 5 and spoke several times by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A senior Israeli official said Abramovich was not involved in Israeli reconciliation efforts.

Sympathy for Ukraine is very strong in Israel. The country’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem said on Thursday it had suspended its strategic partnership with Abramovich following Britain’s move against him. Roman Abramovich jet lands in Turkey after Chelsea owner, Russian tycoon shows up in Israel amid Ukraine sanctions

Fry Electronics Team

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