Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman relocated to Israel one week before the Israel Hamas Attack militants launched their attack on the country, which subsequently led to his departure to Moscow.
“A week ago I moved to Israel,” Mikhail Fridman said Monday by phone to sources. “Now I’ve flown to Moscow because of the current situation. When everything settles down, I plan to return to Israel and live there permanently.”
Fridman, who holds dual citizenship in both Israel and Russia, is the founder of Alfa Group and also serves as its primary shareholder. Alfa Group is a conglomerate that includes one of Russia’s most renowned privately-owned banks. In 2013, after selling their stake in TNK-BP to the government-controlled company Rosneft, Mikhail Fridman and his associates made a significant move to London. This strategic decision proved highly lucrative, as they reaped an impressive $14 billion in profits from the transaction.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, both the European Union and the United Kingdom swiftly implemented punitive measures, imposing sanctions on Mikhail and his associates. Subsequently, in the month of August, the United States followed suit by levying sanctions on Mikhail Fridman, even as he resided in London. These coordinated actions by Western powers underscored their collective condemnation of Russia’s actions and their commitment to holding individuals accountable for their involvement.
“It is impossible to live in the UK under sanctions,” he said, explaining the decision to move to Israel.
Mikhail decision to come back to Russia comes amidst a backdrop of Kremlin disapproval towards oligarchs who opted for foreign residency during President Vladimir Putin’s tense standoff with the US and its allies concerning the Ukraine conflict. President Putin conveyed a message to Russian business figures who had relocated their wealth and loved ones abroad, cautioning them that despite achieving positions of prestige and influence, even acquiring titles such as “earls, peers, and mayors” in their host nations, they would still be regarded as “second-class outsiders.” This reiterates Putin’s stance on the loyalty and allegiance he expects from Russian tycoons during this period of geopolitical tension.
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