Second Russian oligarch has Portuguese nationality

… and two more waiting: one whose first name is GOD

A second Russian oligarch has managed to persuade the Porto Jewish community that he has a family history that can be traced back to Portuguese Sephardic Jews persecuted over 500 years ago

As such the multi-millionaire with purported ‘links to the Kremlin’ has succeeded in his bid to be issued with a Portuguese passport.

Andrei Rappoport – a businessman with a fortune estimated by Forbes to be in the region of €1 billion – already travels with his Portuguese passport, say reports. He was actually awarded it before the pandemic (in December 2019) – and before the brouhaha stirred up by the concession of Portuguese nationality to Mr Abramovich, which has led to rabbi Daniel Litvak being arrested on suspicions of corruption, document falsification, criminal association, active corruption, money laundering, fiscal fraud and the trafficking of influences – and which has culminated in the Porto Jewish community pulling out of the Sephardic Jew naturalisation programme.

Reporting on this latest crinkle in the saga, RTP’s Telejornal returns to an ‘old’ interview with Rabbi Litvak, who explains that “most people prefer” (or rather now preferred) using Porto’s services for naturalisation, as the Porto Jewish community was a great deal faster in processing applications than Lisbon, and “our criteria are a lot simpler”.

So much simpler in fact that people like Mr Abramovich managed to establish Portuguese Sephardic heritage on the basis of hearsay.

All this of course now is ‘in the past’: the rules on how to issue nationality have changed (to the point that Roman Abramovich would no longer qualify for it); Mr Litvak is an official suspect in an investigation that only recently involved new searches, this time of lawyers’ offices.

As a result, two further Russian multi-millionaires have been ‘caught in the crossfire’: unable to get an answer to their applications from the Justice Ministry.

They are God Nisanovone of the richest men in Europe, according to RTP, again with “links to Russian authorities” – and Lev Leviev, a man known as the ‘king of Diamonds’ and a former business associate of (half Russian) former African first daughter Isabel dos Santos, herself at the heart of various allegations of corruption.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com