DrRussian billionaire Roman Abramovich is said to have been the victim of an attempted poisoning during Russia-Ukrainian negotiations earlier this month. His spokesman confirmed this, Monday, according to what was reported by the Wall Street Journal, that Abramovich and two members of the Ukrainian delegation showed symptoms such as peeling skin on their faces and hands and red eyes. Kyiv negotiator Mikhailo Podolyak denied on Monday evening that members of the Ukrainian delegation had been poisoned. US government representatives also expressed skepticism about the reports, which are based on research by the investigative group Bellingcat. A US official said the intelligence indicated a high probability that it was environmental rather than poisoning.
It appears that Abramovich has been mediating at the highest level between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine for weeks. The British newspaper The Times reported on Monday that Abramovich flew by private jet from Istanbul, where he is currently residing, to Moscow last Wednesday to deliver a handwritten note from Volodymyr Zelensky to Vladimir Putin and returned the same evening to discuss Putin’s response with the Ukrainian. negotiators.
According to the Financial Times, Putin personally commissioned Abramovich to mediate. In addition, David Arachhamia, who leads Zelensky’s party in the Kyiv parliament, confirmed to the newspaper that Abramovich is “deeply engaged in peace talks.”
“Tell them I’m going to hit them”
Abramovich is among the most prominent oligarchs who have gained a foothold in the United Kingdom. After not extending his visa in 2018, the British government recently imposed sanctions on him, which also resulted in him losing control of his Premier League football club Chelsea. Shortly thereafter, the European Union did the same.
The government in Washington has so far refrained from taking any action against Abramovich. The Wall Street Journal reported that Silinsky asked US President Joe Biden not to implement a number of sanctions that had already been prepared against the oligarchy, which may have something to do with the mediating role.
According to The Times, Abramovich presented Zelensky’s proposals to Putin about a possible peace treaty. It is alleged that Putin initially responded with the sentence: “Tell them I will beat them.” Then Abramovich discussed Putin’s reactions in Istanbul with Ukrainian MP and businessman Rustam Omirov. Both were in Kyiv with Selenskyj. There was a whole series of meetings between Abramovich and Omeru in several luxury hotels, which were coordinated by Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Erdogan.
Alleged meeting with Schroeder
According to The Times, despite Putin’s blunt reaction, progress has been made in the negotiations. Abramovich is said to have flown on a private jet owned by a Turkish company; He is not allowed to fly his own plane due to EU sanctions. Ankara did not impose any sanctions on him, which is probably the reason why he docked two of his yachts in the port of Bodrum.
Abramovich’s attempts at mediation appear to have started early. Ukrainian MP Arachhamiya told the Financial Times that he met him during the first talks in Gomel, Belarus. Abramovich is also said to have met former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Moscow, along with the head of the Russian Negotiating Committee, Vladimir Medinsky.
According to Arachima, Abramovich “goed into the process through the international Jewish community”. Abramovich donated part of his fortune to Jewish foundations and holds an Israeli passport. However, a government official in Jerusalem denied to the Financial Times that Abramovich had anything to do with official Israeli mediation efforts.
Abramovich’s motives are unclear. There has been speculation that he may have initially hoped to avoid sanctions by taking on the role of mediator. On the other hand, Putin’s personal mission appears to contradict his assertions that he is no longer in contact with the Kremlin. Abramovich amassed his fortune estimated at more than 11 billion euros, especially under former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and took over as governor in Putin’s early years.
The newspaper quoted sources as saying that Abramovich’s efforts were a “real” response to the suffering in Ukraine. His mother was born in Ukraine, and his daughter spoke out against Putin’s aggression.
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