In St Barts, Roman Abramovich renovated a football field and helped rebuild after the hurricane. As sanctions against Russia’s oligarchs mount, islanders say “they don’t want to end it.”

Roman Abramovich.Paul Gilham / Getty Images

  • Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich owns a $90 million mansion on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy.

  • The island’s economy is known as St. Barts, and relies on tourism from ultra-rich visitors such as Abramovich.

  • Since facing UK and EU sanctions, locals have defended Abramovich, calling him a “beautiful person”.

As he faces mounting sanctions, unexpected supporters defend the reputation of Roman Abramovich’s Russian oligarch: the locals of the Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy.

“For more than a decade, locals and very wealthy staff have themselves been doing favors for ‘Abramović and other extremely wealthy clients, an anonymous St. Barts resident. Forbes said. “They don’t want it to end.”

The island’s economy is known as St. Barts, and it works to finance tourism from wealthy visitors like Abramovich, who owns $90 million mansion On the island since 2009. Where it faces an increase in the United Kingdom and the European Union Penaltiesincluding more than $7 billion in frozen assetsIslanders described him as a “beautiful person” and defended his presence on the island as a positive.

Abramovich, call once Billionaire philanthropist in Russiahas a history of making large donations, including to Israel Holocaust Museum And Nanotechnology Research Center at Tel Aviv University.

In St. Barts, he paid $4 million to rebuild 2010 local football fieldpaid for renovations after a hurricane in 2017, funded saltwater pond repairs important to the local ecosystem, Forbes reported.

Patrice Abderham, a private chef who worked for the oligarch on several occasions, Forbes said He believed that France and the European Union were misguided in punishing Abramovich: “They put everyone in one basket,” he said. “I hope everything works out for him.”

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