“In the context of the preparation of new sanctions by the EU [European Union], which require legal grounds, Portugal has already expressed, namely through the voice of the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, its support for the inclusion of new personalities by virtue of their connection evident to President Putin's decisions, which applies, among others, to Roman Abramovich”, said the Ministry of Justice.
Also according to the same note, “EU sanctions do not include the administrative loss of nationality, nor could they do so for basic reasons of respect for the rule of law”.
In the reply sent to Lusa, the MJ recalls, however, that “the conditions for granting that nationality are under a judicial investigation that is ongoing”. The Government also reinforces that the sanctions decreed by the EU, which already affect “many hundreds of Russian citizens linked to the regime” and which should soon be the target of a new package of punitive measures, “are immediately applied in our country”, but those decreed by “third countries, such as the United Kingdom, do not necessarily and immediately apply in the territory of the European Union”.
Russian citizens targeted by sanctions are, in particular, banned from moving within the European area and have seen their assets in the community space frozen.
British sanctions halted the process of selling the English football club Chelsea, owned by Abramovich, and the club is still barred from selling game tickets and trading players. The Russian billionaire had announced earlier this month that he would sell the European and world football champions club "due to the current situation" in which Russia has invaded Ukraine, promising to revert the profits to the victims of the conflict.
The Attorney General's Office (PGR) in Portugal confirmed on January 19 that the granting of Portuguese nationality to Russian businessman Roman Abramovich under the Nationality Law for Sephardic Jews is being investigated by the Public Ministry.
In parallel, the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN) also announced at the end of January the opening of an inquiry on this matter. The Russian billionaire's naturalisation information was revealed at the end of 2021.