Chichvarkin has lived in London for a decade and says he feels a bit less welcome.
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As Prime Minister Theresa May solemnly told a packed House of Commons last week that she would expel 23 Russian diplomats over the nerve agent attack on a former spy, British investors across town were lending millions of dollars to Moscow's state-controlled natural gas giant, Gazprom. The company's bond issue is just one example of how Russia has become entwined in the British economy. Wealth accumulated from the sale of state assets after the breakup of the Soviet Union, as well as Russia's vast energy and mineral resources, flows through British banks and investment funds, buoys the property market and boosts the sales of luxury retailers.That makes it difficult for the U.K. to impose meaningful sanctions on Russia for fear of harming British business interests and innocent Russians. Britain has said it will crack down on "serious criminals and corrupt elites," suggesting it may use a new tool called "unexplained wealth orders" to seize the assets of wealthy Russians whose assets outstrip their legitimate sources of income.But the government also went to great lengths to stress the positive contributions Russians have made to British society.As a result, an estimated 59,000 people who were born in Russia now live in Britain.
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