One of Russia's wealthiest UK-based oligarchs has pleaded for sympathy, claiming that his family “don't understand how to survive on their own”.
Worth a staggering £4 billion, 67-year-old Petr (or Pyotr) Aven who lives in St James's in central London has had his bank accounts and assets frozen in both the UK and Europe.
He was known to be close to Russian president Vladimir Putin, and the soon-to-be former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, and has recently faced sanctions due to Russia's actions in Ukraine.
He told the FT: “Our business is completely destroyed. Everything which we were building for 30 years is now completely ruined. And we have to somehow start a new life.'
“Will l be allowed to have a cleaner, or a driver? I don't drive a car… maybe my stepdaughter will drive.
“We don't understand how to survive. That’s very strange, just to be sanctioned because you meet the president.
“We try to be absolutely out of politics. With Putin I was presenting Alfa Group, not myself at all.
“Our business is completely destroyed. Everything which we were building for 30 years is now completely ruined. And we have to somehow start a new life.”
Ironically, he was speaking to the FT from his huge London flat.
Mr Aven was photographed meeting with Putin on the day the invasion into the Donbas region began in 2014.
According to the BBC, the pair had been meeting around four times per year.
Mr Aven has claimed that he will be challenging the sanctions placed on him and his family, but did not go into details as to how this would be done.
This week, alongside fellow oligarch Mikhail Fridman, he stood down from the London-based business LetterOne investment group he founded almost 10 years ago
A spokesman for the UK's office of financial sanctions implementation said: “Aven is a prominent Russian businessman and pro-Kremlin oligarch.”
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