In Kyiv, they announced Friedman’s plans to obtain Ukrainian citizenship

Other Russian businessmen of Ukrainian origin can also obtain Ukrainian citizenship and re-register their main assets in the country, according to the National Corruption Prevention Agency of Ukraine

Mikhail Fridman

Russian businessman, LetterOne co-founder Mikhail Fridman, born in Lvov, consults with authorities of Ukraine about the possibility of obtaining Ukrainian citizenship and re-registering the main assets in the country, the head of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption Oleksandr Novikov said in an interview with Ukrainian Forbes.

“Such a scenario is also possible for other major Russian businessmen of Ukrainian origin, for example, Viktor Vekselberg, who was born in Drohobych,” he said.

According to Novikov, re-registration of a business is beneficial to Ukraine, since the country will receive additional taxes.

RBC sent inquiries to Letter One and a representative of Vekselberg.

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On February 27, three days after the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, Friedman sent a letter to the London office of LetterOne, the Financial Times reported. In it, the businessman recalled that he was born in Lviv, where his parents, who are citizens of Ukraine, continue to live now. “But I have lived most of my life as a citizen of Russia, creating and developing a business. I am deeply attached to the Ukrainians and Russians, and, in my opinion, the current conflict— this is a tragedy for both peoples,"— Friedman said.

The next day, the European Union imposed sanctions against the businessman, providing for the freezing of assets and a ban on entry. The justification for the EU restrictions stated that Friedman “participated in the Kremlin's attempts to lift US sanctions imposed to counter Russia's aggressive policy towards Ukraine”, “actively supported and benefited materially or financially” from the leaders responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the “destabilization of Ukraine”.

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Friedman did not agree with the decision of the EU to impose sanctions and challenged it in court. According to him, Western countries, when imposing restrictive measures, do not understand “how power in Russia actually works,” and are sure that “these greedy oligarchs can approach [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and tell him to stopped". “Why do they think so?” asked Friedman.

After the imposition of EU sanctions (later joined by the UK), he left the board of directors of Alfa-Bank and ceased to be its largest shareholder. The entrepreneur also left LetterOne.

According to the Russian Forbes, the businessman ranks sixth on the list of the country's richest people. The publication estimates his fortune at $ 11.8 billion. In addition to Russian, Friedman has Israeli citizenship. He lives mainly in London, and has been a resident of the UK since 2015.

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