His friends claim that the Russian-British tensions have nothing to do with his decision to move to Israel.

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich Photo Credit: Marina Lystseva via Wikimedia Commons

After arriving in Israel on his private plane and going through the processing procedures at Ben-Gurion Airport, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich officially became an Israeli citizen on Monday. The Jewish tycoon will live in Tel Aviv’s chic Neve Tzedek neighborhood.

A few weeks back, Abramovich, who owns London’s Chelsea soccer club, submitted an application to renew his British visa. However, due to the diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow, the British authorities have yet to process his application, preventing him from returning to the UK.

According to close associates of the Jewish billionaire, he had been planning on becoming an Israeli citizen for a while and the decision to do it now was unrelated to the visa issue with the UK. However, Israeli media is reporting that his application was only filed last week.

Once Abramovich completed the immigration process, he instantly became the richest person in Israel—with a worth of more than $13.5 billion.