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Abramovich Gets New Term As Russian Governor

Roman Abramovich (epa) 21 October 2005 -- Wealthy Russian businessman Roman Abramovich has been selected for a second term as governor of Russia's Chukotka region in northeast Siberia.

Lawmakers in Chukotka's 13-member legislature today backed Abramovich to head the region, located 7,000 kilometers east of Moscow, for another five-year term.

Abramovich, who's 38, recently sold his interest in the Sibneft oil firm to Russian gas monopoly Gazprom for a reported $13 billion. He has also won an international profile for his ownership of the British soccer club Chelsea.

President Vladimir Putin's envoy to the Far East Federal District, Konstantin Pulikovskii, extended congratulations from Putin and praised what he called Abramovich's high professional qualities and competence.

Chukotka, which lies across the Bering Strait from Alaska, is bigger than France but has a population of just 55,000.