By Jonathan Davies

The UK government plans to block a deal to sell 12 oil and gas fields in the North Sea to Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman.

The UK Department of Energy said it would block the deal "in its current form".

The fields are owned by German company RWE Dea, which is being sold by a group backed by Mr Fridman. The oligarch is someone being targeted by EU and US sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. And there are fears that allowing the sale to go ahead would counter the sanctions.

Despite the government's opposition, German power firm RWE said the €5bn (£3.6bn) sale of its subsidiary to LetterOne, the group backed by Mikhail Fridman, would go ahead as planned on Monday.

Reports by the Financial Times suggest that Mr Fridman has threatened legal action against the UK government.