Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Abramovich Gives Up Role in Russian Politics

Billionaire Roman Abramovich will leave his post as chairman of the Chukotka autonomous district parliament, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

Abramovich had been Chukotka's Duma speaker since 2008. He also served as the Far East district's governor from 2000-08.

A United Russia source said that his decision is driven by the presidential decree that orders elected officials to get rid of their foreign property if they want to hold office in Russia.

He has synchronized his move with the decision of his protege Roman Kopin to step down from his position as the district's governor and run for another term in the gubernatorial elections in autumn.

Abramovich, whose wealth is estimated by Forbes Russian edition at $10.2 billion, owns Chelsea Football Club, which he bought in 2003.

His decision could have been influenced by the decision of Larisa Ponomaryova, another of his allies, to leave her post as district's representative in the Federation Council, a Vedomosti source said.

Ponomaryova announced her decision Monday, saying that she wants to make way for younger people. She is the mother of Ilya Ponomaryov, who is a State Duma deputy for the left-leaning A Just Russia party and is also a leading opposition activists.

Abramovich's spokesman John Mann has not commented on the reports.

The post of Chukotka Duma speaker will be assumed by Abramovich's ally — former regional deputy governor Aramais Dallakyan.

While the post of the regional Parliament is seen as largely ceremonial, it gave Abramovich a degree of political clout and helped him maintain contacts within the government.

The businessman is popular in Chukotka, about 7,000 kilometers northeast of Moscow, due to the financial support he has given the poor region.

His oil company Sibneft was registered in the region before it was purchased by Gazprom, which moved its headquarters to St. Petersburg in 2005.

Related articles:

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more