Roman Abramovich ‘asked me if he could help,’ says Volodymyr Zelensky

Roman Abramovich ‘asked me if he could help,’ says Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said he received signals of support from Roman Abramovich. 

Mr Abramovich was one of several Russian businessmen who he says told him they wanted to “do something” and “help somehow” to de-escalate the Kremlin’s month-long assault on Ukraine.   

The claim that he offered to intervene was disclosed by Mr Zelensky in an interview with Russian journalists working for the country’s independent media.   

“Some said that they were ready to help rebuild the country after the war,” Mr Zelensky said.

 The owner of the current world and European football champions, Chelsea, Mr Abramovich is one of the highest-profile Russian oligarchs to be sanctioned by Britain and the EU.   

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the US Treasury Department held off imposing sanctions on Mr Abramovich at the request of the National Security Council, amid claims he was acting as a peace broker.

It also reported that Mr Zelensky had advised US President Joe Biden to put sanctions on Mr Abramovich on hold.

Last week the Financial Times reported that Vladimir Putin had personally approved Mr Abramovich’s involvement in peace talks.   

His name does not appear on the current list of Russians sanctioned by the Biden administration.   

Last week his absence from the roster of oligarchs sanctioned by the US appeared to have been confirmed by Janet Yellen, the Treasure Secretary.   

However, interviewed in CNBC, she added he could face sanctions.   

“I would hold open the possibility that — certainly not take off the table the possibility — he or other individuals could face sanctions in the future,” she said.

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Last Update: Mon, 28 Mar 22 00:14:09