Espreso. Global

British parliament urges swift transfer of Abramovich's frozen funds to Ukraine

31 January, 2024 Wednesday
14:50

The House of Lords Committee on European Affairs in the UK Parliament has urged the government to promptly transfer the frozen funds of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich to Ukraine following the sale of Chelsea FC

This is reported by The Guardian.

"The unfulfilled promise made by Mr Abramovich at the time of the sale of Chelsea FC reflects poorly on him and the government for not pushing for a more binding commitment. We urge the government to use all available legal levers to solve this impasse rapidly so that Ukraine can receive much needed, promised, and long overdue relief," stated Peter Ricketts, David Cameron’s former national security adviser and the chair of the committee.

In response, the British Foreign Ministry clarified that proceeds from the Chelsea FC sale are still frozen in a UK bank account. Independent experts are in the process of establishing a fund to manage and distribute these funds.

"A license application will then need to be made to move the funds to the foundation," the ministry added.

Media reports highlight that Abramovich finalized the sale of the club in May 2022 to a consortium led by billionaire Todd Boehly and the American private investment company Clearlake Capital. Despite this, the funds remained frozen in Abramovich's company Fordstam's bank account last year amid a dispute over their intended destination.

Abramovich and the sale of Chelsea FC

On January 31, reports indicated that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich plans to contribute £2.3 billion to Ukraine, derived from the sale of the Chelsea football club. However, these funds remain blocked by the British government, as reported by The Telegraph.

In April, it was observed that the fund, set up to transfer $3 billion resulting from Abramovich's sale of Chelsea FC to Ukraine, is nearly ready. However, the British government's approval process is taking longer than anticipated.

Mike Penrose, former executive director of UNICEF in Great Britain and current director general of the new fund, stated that everything was prepared for the fund transfer to Ukraine, awaiting approval from the British government.

By May, The Times reported that the £2.35 billion ($2.9 billion) obtained by Roman Abramovich's firm from the forced sale of Chelsea, a year after the deal, is scheduled to support aid programs for victims of the Ukraine war.

In mid-June, Abramovich proposed distributing the funds between Ukrainians and Russians.

In July, the British government granted permission to use £2.3 billion from Abramovich's Chelsea sale exclusively for Ukraine.

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