By Daniel Hunter

The UK government has given Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman one week to convince it not to force him to sell recently bought assets in the North Sea.

LetterOne, controlled by Fridman, bought energy company DEA UK from German firm RWE last week, despite protests from the government, which has concerns that Fridman could halt production if the west imposes more economic sanctions on Russia.

The government could force Fridman to sell the oil and gas assets to a third party.

"Ed Davey has given them seven days to explain why the secretary of state should not now proceed to issue notices under the licences to require further changes of control," the department of energy said in a statement.

"Protecting these assets is the secretary of state's priority."