Yad Vashem suspends partnership with Russian-Jewish billionaire over ties with Putin

“In light of recent developments, Yad Vashem has decided to suspend the strategic partnership with Mr. Roman Abramovich.”

By World Israel News Staff and Associated Press

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, announced on Thursday that it was ending its ties to Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich.

“In light of recent developments, Yad Vashem has decided to suspend the strategic partnership with Mr. Roman Abramovich,” the center announced.

European and world soccer champion Chelsea was among the assets of Roman Abramovich frozen by the British government on Thursday after he was sanctioned for his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The British government called Abramovich a “pro-Kremlin oligarch” who is worth more than 9 billion pounds ($12 billion), and should be punished due to his association with Putin. Abramovich was also linked with “destabilizing … undermining and threatening” Ukraine.

Abramovich, whose fortune was made in oil and aluminium during the chaotic years that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, has not condemned Russia’s invasion of its neighbor in two statements since the war began two weeks ago.

The British government said Abramovich has obtained financial benefits from Putin’s administration, including contracts in the buildup to Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup.

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However, the ripples are being felt at Chelsea, the club Abramovich has pumped more than $2 billion into over 19 years, transforming the team into a force in European football.

Earlier this month, Abramovich announced his plan to sell the Chelsea club and donate the proceeds to support Ukrainians suffering from the ongoing war with Russia. Reports suggested the billionaire is seeking to offload other assets out of fear he will be slapped with sanctions.

In a press statement at the time, Abramovich said that believed that selling the team would be in “the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.”