LONDON, November 2 - RAPSI, Vladimir Yaduta. Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, a defendant in a $5.5 billion lawsuit filed by exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, told the London Court of Justice on Tuesday that they were friends with Boris Berezovsky in 1990s, RIA Novosti and the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) reported.
The court began hearing Berezovsky's $5.5 billion lawsuit against Abramovich on October 3. Berezovsky seeks compensation for assets he was forced to sell to Abramovich between 2000 and 2003.
Berezovsky claims in his lawsuit that Abramovich intimidated him and his business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili into selling a number of assets, including a 43-percent interest in the Sibneft oil company and a stake in the Rusal aluminum group, at a fraction of their value.
Chelsea football club owner Abramovich said they were not close friends with Berezovsky, but were in good relations and occasionally spent time together.
"I would refrain from saying we were "close" friends. Bur I would say were just friends," Abramovich said, adding that "close friend" means something special for Russians.
Abramovich also said, while being questioned at the court, that as for his business relations with the claimant and particularly the situation around Sibneft deal, he fulfilled all his commitments to Berezovsky.