JERUSALEM (JTA) — Russian-Israeli businessman Arcadi Gaydamak has asked Russia to reinstate his citizenship.
Gaydamak made the request Wednesday, senior Kremlin officials told the Israeli daily Ha’aretz.
His Russian citizenship was revoked in the 1970s when he immigrated to Israel. Gaydamak will likely have to renounce his Israeli citizenship if his request is granted, since Russian law does not permit dual nationality, Globes reported. Gaydamak, who lived in France for 17 years, also is a French citizen.
The billionaire reportedly is hoping that having Russian citizenship will make it difficult to extradite him to France, depending on a March 4 verdict in a French court over an arms-dealing affair.
Gaydamak is accused of illegally organizing the sale of Russian arms to Angola from 1993 to 2000 for $791 million.