"As we stated in December, the candidacy was made entirely in accordance with Portuguese law," a source told Lusa.
Although he has the right to Lithuanian citizenship through his father and grandparents, who were deported during World War II, Abramovich asked for Portuguese citizenship due to the “welcoming spirit” of the legislation.
"Portuguese law of return not only allows, but actively encourages Jews of proven Portuguese ancestry to establish roots in Portugal. This welcoming spirit attracted Abramovich, who saw his application for Portuguese citizenship as an opportunity to honour his family's history and, at the same time, support the local Jewish community, contributing to the preservation of Jewish life in Portugal”, justified the spokeswoman.
Contrary to various media reports, they stressed, "there is no immediate benefit or hidden agenda behind any of this", lamenting the "publication of a lot of false information".
With homes and family spread across Russia, the United States, London and Israel, the Russian businessman is determined to prove that he applied for Portuguese nationality in good faith, with economic investment plans and donations to charities, as he has done in other countries.
"Over the last year, we have been evaluating the best way to contribute both to the preservation of Jewish heritage and to support society in general in Portugal. We hope that some of these plans will be carried out in the near future", the spokeswoman told Lusa.
Abramovich became naturalised Portuguese in April 2021 under the Nationality Law as a descendant of Sephardic Jews expelled from Portugal in the 15th century, Público newspaper revealed in December.
Thousands of people have used the same programme since the law went into effect in 2015.
In addition to a Russian passport, Abramovich was naturalised Israeli in 2018 under the Law of Return, benefiting from visa-free entry to European countries, not only in the European Union (EU) but also the United Kingdom.