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The President of Ukraine asked Joe Biden not to sanction Roman Abramovich to facilitate peace talks with Russia | International | News

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyasked President Joe Biden in a recent phone call not to impose sanctions on Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich because he could prove a useful broker in peace talks with Moscow.

As a result, the White House convinced the Treasury Department not to go ahead with plans to attack Abramovich along with other wealthy Russians linked to Vladimir Putin, according to people familiar with the details.

The revelations, reported by the Wall Street Journalexplain how one of the world’s richest men has avoided US sanctions, even as the UK and European Union punished him with travel bans and asset freezes.

Sources familiar with the calls between the two presidents told the US newspaper that Biden consulted Zelensky on a series of sanctions, including plans for the owner of the Chelsea soccer club. However, the White House declined to comment.

“We are not going to read private conversations between President Biden and President Zelensky,” said Emily Horne, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. The newspaper says that the Treasury Department had also not responded to a request for comment.

Abramovich is one of the oligarchs from the circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin, against whom sanctions were announced for their position in relation to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that already reaches the fourth week.

“For the negotiations, and in the interests of their success, it is not helpful to comment on the process or Abramovich’s involvement,” his spokesman said. “As stated earlier, based on requests, including from Jewish organizations in Ukraine, he has been doing his best to support efforts aimed at restoring peace as soon as possible.”

Since the end of February, David Arakhamia, leader of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky’s party in parliament, confirmed that Abramovich had been invited to take part in the peace talks. He “plays a very positive role in this process”. The Kremlin has not commented on the matter.

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich moves two yachts to Turkey to prevent confiscation

The Russian billionaire made his fortune buying discounted state assets after the collapse of the Soviet Union. As soon as the Russian invasion began he was hit by a series of sanctions in the UK and the European Union because of his close relationship with Putin. He was quick to divest before the asset freeze hit and put one of his best-known assets – Chelsea Football Club – up for sale, with staff said to have been ready for tours at his $195 million, 15-bedroom mansion. in Kensington Palace Gardens, London, and a three-story penthouse on Chelsea Waterfront.

For now his whereabouts are not known with certainty, it is believed that he is in Moscow, where he arrived from Israel, the country of which he has nationality. (I)

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