Billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov (above) claims that there is a British conspiracy against Vladimir Putin and the whole of Russia
A Russian oligarch at the centre of the UK’s biggest divorce has bizarrely compared his case to the poisoning of soviet spy Sergei Skripal.
Billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov claims that there is a British conspiracy against Vladimir Putin and the whole of Russia.
In an extraordinary outburst, Akhmedov seemed to suggest that the British High Court ordering him to pay his estranged wife £453m and the probe into the attempted murder of former MI6 double agent Skripal were an establishment ‘witch hunt’.
Mr Akhmedov told MailOnline: ‘These latest actions again show the British establishment deliberately engaging in a campaign of politically-motivated conspiracy and organised provocation of Russia and its citizens.’
The gas and oil tycoon – a friend of Roman Abramovich – refuses to accept the divorce court ruling because he insists that the British has no jurisdiction over a marriage between Russians settled in the country 15 years ago.
Akhmedov seemed to suggest that the British High Court ordering him to pay his estranged wife (above) £453m and the probe into the attempted murder of former MI6 double agent Skripal were an establishment ‘witch hunt’
He added: ‘The Prime Minister blaming President Putin and the Kremlin for the nerve gas attack on Skripal is the latest example of a sustained anti-Russian witch hunt to divert attention from Brexit.
‘Mrs May’s weak government is creating a bogeyman out of President Putin in its attempts to show that Britain is somehow still a world player.
‘The sad thing for little Britain is that Russia responds to all its aggressive talk, hostile actions and absurd conspiracies with no more than shrug.’
Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain critical in hospital after the Salisbury nerve agent attack while the police and the military are still investigating what happened over a week later.
Mr Akhmedov continued: ‘For what possible reason would the Russian state concern itself with a useless and harmless old traitor like Skripal?
‘He was a piece of rotten fruit, completely harmless to Russia which had no reason to kill him. Had he been a threat he would never have been deported out of Russia.
‘Britain is yet again demonising Russia, its President and its citizens.
‘The unlawful divorce proceedings which my ex-wife and her lawyers were scandalously allowed to bring in a British court were part of the same process.
‘The court and the British legal system manipulated the basic facts that we were Russian citizens who married in Russia and had legitimately ended our marriage there 15 years earlier, after which I made lavish and proper provision for my ex-wife.’
Pictured: An aerial view of a house owned by Akhmedov in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, southeastern France
As well as an extensive art collection, Mr Amkhmedov also owns a £42m private jet (above)
In 2014 he bought a £300m super-yacht called Luna from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich
He added: ‘Now we see the British government deliberately manipulating the obvious fact that Russia had nothing to do with the attack on Skripal and his daughter.
‘What it does not realise is that every such pathetic attempt to distort the facts simply strengthens the power of President Putin and Russian nationalism.’
The gas and oil tycoon refuses to accept the divorce court ruling (above: his wife Tatiana Akhmedova)
Mr Akhmedov’s statement comes a month after he complained of having ‘no justice’ after Appeal Court judges dismissed his solicitor’s appeal over being forced into revealing confidential information about his £90m modern art collection to his 41-year-old wife’s legal team during their court battles where he was forced to hand over and staff their former family home – a £20m Weybridge country pile in Surrey.
He was also ordered to provide a second £440m London pied-a-terre, a palatial £28m French Riviera home and £5m a year for his former wife – who he has two children with and whom he married in Russia in 1993 before their marriage also ended there in 2000.
Pictured: The luxurious yacht owned by Akhmedov anchored at Bodrum in Mugla Province, Turkey last year
The superyacht (above) is fitted with numerous balconies and a stunning pool
Akhmedov’s helicopter (top) can be seen sitting on the helipad he had fitted to the yacht
Mr Akhmedov – who is friends with Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich – has a rags-to-riches story which saw him arrive in Moscow from his native Azerbaijan aged 15 with 48 roubles in his pocket’.
He was included in the recent ‘Putin list’ released by the US Treasury, which names 210 prominent Russians with close Kremlin ties.
Pictured: The living space inside his yacht, which includes a huge sofa and various trinkets showcased on grand wooden shelves
Pictured: One of the bedrooms on the luxury yacht, which has an enormous bed and a satellite of sofas around it
Pictured: A relaxing sitting area on one of the immaculate decks of the huge yacht
Pictured: Sunbeds are position on the edge of the yacht so occupants can enjoy stunning views
During their marriage the couple had enjoyed an incredibly lavish lifestyle, where the Surrey mansion was their family home while they jetted away to a £27.8m holiday home.
As well as an extensive art collection, Mr Amkhmedov also owns a £42m private jet and a helicopter.
In 2014 he bought a £300m super-yacht called Luna from Mr Abramovich with nine cabins and enough rooms for 18 guests which was built for the London football club boss.