Zelensky Asked Biden To Not Sanction Billionaire Oligarch Abramovich, Report Says

By Lisa Kim
ar 23, 2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked President Joe Biden to delay imposing sanctions on the Russian billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich so he could act as a mediator between Moscow and Kyiv, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, though he does not appear to have yet been an effective middleman.

The U.S. Treasury Department initially prepared to impose penalties on Abramovich early in March, to be announced with sanctions from the United Kingdom and the European Union, but was told by the White House National Security Council to pause, the Journal reported.

As the Treasury was preparing penalties, Biden and Zelensky spoke over the phone about the scope of sanctions on Russia and penalties aimed at Abramovich, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the call, though other British and European leaders told the Journal they were unaware of the conversation or Zelensky’s request.

The U.S. has yet to sanction Abramovich, despite sanctions levied against more than 20 Russian billionaires by the U.S., EU or the U.K.

Despite the apparent request, Abramovich has not been very effective at facilitating peace talks, the Journal said.

Continue reading at www.forbes.com

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