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    British embassy says 'no comment' on Luzhkov residence permit

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    The British Embassy in Moscow has refused to comment on media reports that former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov has been granted a residence permit in Britain.

    The British Embassy in Moscow has refused to comment on media reports that former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov has been granted a residence permit in Britain.

    "As a rule, we give no information on private cases for granted visas or residence permits in the United Kingdom," a spokesperson for the embassy said.

    A number of media sources earlier reported that Luzhkov had filed a request for a British visa and residence permit. In late October, Luzhkov was allegedly spotted lining up for a visa at the British Embassy in Moscow.

    Speculation mounted that Luzhkov could soon join a group of Russia's super-rich currently living in London, including Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

    Media reports said Luzhkov's wife, Yelena Baturina, dubbed Russia's richest woman by Forbes magazine, purchased the biggest house in London after Buckingham Palace for an estimated $100 million.

    Luzhkov earlier requested a Latvian residence permit, but was denied by Latvian authorities. Latvia's interior minister placed the embattled former Moscow mayor on a blacklist of people whose presence in the country is "undesirable."

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fired Luzhkov, who had been in office since 1992, last fall over "loss of confidence," later citing exuberant corruption in Moscow and negligence of direct duties the main reasons for the dismissal.

    MOSCOW, February 1 (RIA Novosti)

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