Roman Abramovich is trying to mediate between Moscow and kyiv to end the war in Ukraine, and this could harm him. The billionaire and two Ukrainian negotiators have indeed suffered from symptoms that suggest possible “poisoning”, reported Monday the wall street journal.
After a meeting in the Ukrainian capital in March, the billionaire owner of English football club Chelsea and at least two senior officials from the Ukrainian negotiating team “developed symptoms”, writes the American newspaper, citing “people aware of this situation”. Red and watery eyes, peeling face and hands: these symptoms then improved “and their lives are not in danger”, he adds.
“Unfortunately, what the wall street journal took place, and (Mr. Abramovich) is fine. He continues to be active in the negotiations,” a source familiar with the matter in London confirmed to Agence France-Presse. want to sabotage the talks aimed at ending the war in Ukraine. A relative of Roman Abramovich, however, said for his part that he was not sure of the identity of those who would have targeted the group, specifies the wall street journalalso claiming that Western experts could not determine the cause of the symptoms.
Abramovich can play a role for peace in Ukraine, says Zelensky
“There is a lot of speculation about the news in the media today. We recommend following only official information,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, saying that the negotiations were taking place “as usual”. According to the investigation site Bellingcat, “the three men had only consumed chocolate and water in the hours before the onset of symptoms”. Bellingcat said on Twitter that “experts have reported that the dosage and type of poison used was insufficient to endanger lives, and was likely used to scare victims.”
The newspaper confirms in any case that the Russian oligarch, considered close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and already targeted by sanctions from the European Union and the United Kingdom in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has started shuttling between Moscow and Ukraine as part of a mediation to end the conflict. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday March 27 that several Russian businessmen, including Roman Abramovich, had offered to help Ukraine.
the wall street journal revealed last week that the Ukrainian president had asked his American counterpart Joe Biden not to sanction Roman Abramovich, arguing that he could play a role in peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. And in fact, the billionaire does not appear at this stage on the list of oligarchs sanctioned by Washington, yet extended several times and again last Thursday.
Consult our file: War in Ukraine