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Abramovich: losing cash, but winning elections

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich may be losing out in the world financial meltdown – but he's still winning in politics after being elected to chair the local parliament in Russia’s easternmost Chukotka region. Regio

The legislators also set up a number of committees on security, social welfare, industry, agriculture and the budget.

It’s another step in Abramovich’s return to frontline politics.  Previously he had spent eight years in the job as Chukotka's governor before leaving to pursue his business interests.

His spell as governor saw him become very popular with local people. He invested more than a billion dollars of his own money in the region. And under him, salaries increased five-fold and the birth rate became among the highest in the country.

Roman Kopin took the governor’s post after Roman Abramovich decided to resign in July 2008. On his resignation the billionaire promised not to abandon Chukotka and continue investments into the regions' economy.   
 
The billionaire is famous for his huge foreign assets as well as for purchasing the most expensive yacht in the world.

His girlfriend Daria Zhukova has recently opened a new contemporary art gallery in Moscow. It will house the work of aspiring young Russian artists and hopes to rival London's Tate Modern or the New York MOMA.

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