A WELSH MP has deleted a tweet in which he demanded citizen with dual British/Russian nationality chose between them. 

Labour MP Chris Bryant had outlined a series of measures he believed should be taken in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

One of the measures was “require UK/Russian dual nationals to choose between nationality.” 

In the ‘thread’ of linked tweets the Rhondda MP suggested action that could be taken against Russian banks and finance and industry and called for sanctions against Russian politicians and individuals named on the Navalny list, those accused of poisoning now jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. 

In the second tweet in the thread Bryant wrote two thirds, if not all, Russian embassy staff should be expelled and for rail, shipping and air links to be cut as with forcing people to “choose” a nationality listed as his third recommendation. 

READ MORE: Welsh politicians who visited Ukraine respond to Russian invasion

Bryant later deleted the tweet after criticism on the social media platform. 

Left wing journalist Aaron Bastani replied and told him “Think 3 is really regressive Chris, and real worry we start to treat all dual nationals as second class citizens if this becomes normalised. Applies to millions of Brits - including of Russian heritage opposed to Putin.” 

The former Foreign Office minister then replied: “Fair point”. He later deleted the tweet following further criticism. 

The National Wales: Chris Bryant's since deleted tweet.Chris Bryant's since deleted tweet.

In a third tweet Bryant said every Russian holding a ‘Tier 1 visa’ - which gives high value individuals willing to invest at least £2 million in UK companies the right to live in the country – should be reviewed. 

He also said Russian state-owned assets in the UK should be seized and the assets of all Russian or dual nationals “who are persons of interest” should be frozen. 

In the Commons Bryant said Roman Abramovich should no longer be able to own Chelsea Football Club and suggested his £152m UK home should be seized. 

 

Speaking at business questions, Mr Bryant said: “I have got hold of a leaked document from 2019 from the Home Office which says in relation to Mr Abramovich – ‘As part of HMG’s Russia strategy aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign activity, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices’. 

“‘An example of this is Abramovich admitting in court proceedings that he paid for political influence. 

“Therefore HMG is focused on ensuring individuals linked to illicit finance and malign activity are unable to base themselves in the UK and will use the relevant tools at its disposal, including immigration powers to prevent this’. 

“That is nearly three years ago and yet remarkably little has been done in relation. 

“Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country? 

“Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets including his £152 million home? 

“And making sure that other people who have had Tier 1 Visas like this are not engaged in malign activity?” 

READ MORE: Humiliating Russia is not an option says Carwyn Jones

Commons Leader Mark Spencer replied: “He will know under the sanctions passed in the House this week there is the opportunity for the Government to take very strong action against high-profile Russian individuals who are of concern. 

“He will be aware that the Home Secretary will be at this dispatch box next Monday for Home Office questions and I am sure he will be able to challenge her directly.” 

READ MORE: Chris Bryant's Twitter exchange with a Latin American expert

Mr Abramovich is also the largest stakeholder in London-listed Russian-focused mining company Evraz, with a stake of 29 per cent. 

It has been one of the hardest-hit companies on the FTSE 100 on Thursday, falling nearly 30 per cent at points. 

The drop has seen the businessman’s paper fortune drop by nearly £300 million as a result. 

Shares in the company have fallen 71 per cent so far this year. 

READ MORE: Leanne Wood: The Russian dark money in UK politics

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a correction after he wrongly claimed that Mr Abramovich was the subject of targeted sanctions by the UK Government. 

The Prime Minister tabled a written ministerial statement in the House of Commons to clarify such measures had not been imposed on the Russian-Israeli billionaire businessman. 

On Tuesday, Mr Johnson told MPs that Mr Abramovich was “already facing sanctions”, a claim disputed by Mr Bryant, among others. 

Mr Johnson said on Wednesday: “Roman Abramovich has not been the subject of targeted measures. 

“More generally anyone who comes to this country on an Israeli passport is a non-visa national. 

“Israelis are required to obtain a visa if they want to live, work or study in the UK.” 

Mr Abramovich had issues around his entrepreneurial visa in 2018. 

In October 2021, the businessman’s spokesperson confirmed he travelled to London as an Israeli citizen, therefore entering the United Kingdom without the need for a visa. 

Mr Abramovich’s spokesperson has been approached for comment by the PA news agency. 

Downing Street would not be drawn on the claims about Mr Abramovich made in the Commons. 

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I couldn’t comment on individuals in that way or on leaked documents of that type.” 

Additional reporting: David Lynch and Richard Wheeler, PA

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