Roman Abramovich has been the victim of alleged poisoning after participating in Ukraine-Russia peace negotiations according to multiple reports.
The Russian billionaire reportedly suffered sore eyes and peeling skin after peace talks on the Ukraine-Belarus border earlier this month where two Ukrainian peace negotiators were also said to have suffered the same fate.
A U.S. official, however, refuted the claim that Roman Abramovich has been the victim of poisoning and said on the condition of anonymity that the sickening of Russian billionaire and Ukrainian peace negotiators was due to an environmental factor, not poisoning.
The soon-to-be-former Chelsea owner has fully recovered from his ordeal. The health of the Ukrainian negotiators, who include Ukrainian MP Rustem Umerov, has improved as well since the incident on March 3rd.
According to reports, on the afternoon of 3rd March, Roman Abramovich joined Russian and Ukrainian peace negotiators for talks on the Ukraine-Belarus border. Later that night, three members of the delegates – including Mr. Abramovich- suffered symptoms of nerve agent poisoning.
The symptoms included inflamed skin, irritated eyes, and severe pain behind the eyes – symptoms that lasted all through the night. Chemical weapons specialists have examined this case and concluded that they believe it was an intentional use of a chemical agent.
The incident casts light on the importance of Abramovich’s reported role as a broker in talks between Ukraine and Russia. Abramovich had offered his services to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in helping to de-escalate Russia’s invasion of the country.
The Russian billionaire traveled between Moscow and Kyiv for several rounds of talks at the start of the month.
Abramovich was sanctioned by the EU and UK earlier this month over his alleged links to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin but Zelensky has reportedly asked the US to hold off from sanctioning Abramovich, arguing he could play a role in negotiating a peace deal with Moscow which suggests he may have more influence over the peace negotiations than previously thought.