The Wall Street Journal made a bombshell revelation.
According to him, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, asked the American President, Joe Biden, not to impose sanctions on Roman Abramovich.
The Wall Street Journal notes that for the Ukrainian president, the Russian tycoon – the which has been sanctioned by the United Kingdom and the EU – could play a crucial role in the Moscow-Kiev peace talks.
In fact, in early March, US officials drew up a list of sanctions against Abramovich, in order to enter into force, in parallel with the EU-UK package. But the White House National Security Council called on the Treasury Department to stop.
And that's why US President Joe Biden decided to listen to his Ukrainian counterpart, who asked him to “remove Abramovich from the list of Russian oligarchs against whom sanctions are imposed, believing that it could prove to be an important link in an effort to resolve the crisis.
“We are not going to read private conversations between President Biden and President Zelensky,” said Emily Horn, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council. The Treasury Department did not respond to a request for comment.
The Ukrainian president's office and the Ukrainian embassy in Washington also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”For the sake of the negotiations and in the interest of their success, it is not useful to comment on the process, nor on the involvement of Mr. Abramovich,” said a spokesman for the Russian tycoon. “As previously mentioned, on the basis of requests, including from Jewish organizations in Ukraine, it has done all it can to support efforts to restore peace as soon as possible.”
Biden-Zelensky's unusual consultation on these and other specific sanctions targeting individual Russian elites underscores US efforts to coordinate closely with Kyiv and other allies as they continue to seek new ways to “swallow” U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal that they had no reason to believe that Mr. Abramovich was particularly helpful in talks between the Ukrainian and Russian governments and in the intelligence community. in fact, they suggest something different.
Roman Abramovich was involved when Ukrainian government officials contacted individuals with Russian connections who could provide a bridge to Vladimir Putin. One of them was filmmaker Alexander Rodnyansky, the father of an adviser to the Ukrainian president, according to the producer's journalist Lera Paksyalina.
Rodyansky founded a Ukrainian television channel that aired production of Zelensky while he was an actor. Responding to a request for help, he contacted Abramovic, said a person familiar with the matter. Abramovich knew Rodyansky by funding works of art in Russia, the same man said. Abramovich told his aides that he was trying to act as a mediator in the conflict, according to people familiar with the matter.
Days after the Russian invasion, Abramovich's spokeswoman confirmed the involvement, saying she had offered to help the Ukrainian government “achieve a peaceful solution.”
with Putin was a major reversal of previous messages sent by Abramovich. For years, through various representatives, he tried to keep his distance from the Kremlin.
People who have spoken to Roman Abramovich say he is spending significant time in the process. Private jets have been “zigzagging” between Russia, Turkey and Israel in recent weeks, according to flight tracking data. with one source. Prior to the invasion of Ukraine, several representatives of Israeli charities signed a letter to the US Ambassador to Israel, warning of the financial consequences of imposing sanctions on Abramovich, a key donor to the “Israel Holocaust” monument. >