An American official and a source close to the Office of the President of Ukraine have denied the suspicion that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was poisoned.
Several Western news agencies reported on March 28 that billionaire Abramovich appeared to have been poisoned with an “unknown chemical weapon” a few weeks ago.
|Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Photo: EPA|
Information surfaced after the Wall Street Journal and the Bellingcat investigation team reported that the Russian tycoon and two Ukrainian negotiators had symptoms of vision loss for several hours, red, swollen eyes, continuous tears, and skin on hands and hands. and his face was slightly peeled earlier this month, on the sidelines of talks in Turkey aimed at ending the conflict between the two neighbours.
Abramovich’s representative confirmed to the BBC that he had symptoms of suspected poisoning and was being treated in Turkey. The current state of health of this Russian-born billionaire has improved.
The information was announced as Moscow and Kiev prepare for a new round of negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey, the first direct dialogue event between the two sides since March 10.
However, Reuters quoted an unnamed US official as saying that intelligence indicates that Mr Abramovich and the Ukrainian negotiators were most likely sick due to environmental factors, not poisoning.
Sharing with CNN, a source close to the Office of the President of Ukraine, who asked to remain anonymous, also denied that the Russian billionaire was poisoned. This person asserted: “That’s not true. This is just another case of misinformation.”
All affected were given medication and felt fine within 1-2 days, a source close to the leadership in Kiev told the New York Times.
Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podoliak did not deny the incident, but he noted: “There is a lot of speculation, a lot of conspiracy theories and elements of different information game in the media sector today. So , I repeat once again, members of the negotiating team of Ukraine are working today as usual.”
Mr Abramovich, the chairman of football club Chelsea, was sanctioned by the British government earlier this month along with other Russian oligarchs for Moscow’s war in the neighboring country. According to CNN, Mr. Abramovich acted as an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine, traveling between Moscow, Kiev, Istanbul, Warsaw and many other places during the two sides’ negotiations.
However, Mr. Abramovich has no official role in the Russia-Ukraine negotiations, as he is not part of the delegations from Kiev or Moscow.
|Abramovich (second from right) talks with the President and Foreign Minister of Turkey before the Russia-Ukraine talks on March 29. Photo: RIA Novosti|
A recent photo of Abramovich chatting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey shows the billionaire also appeared at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul before the Russian and Ukrainian representatives joined. negotiating again here on March 29.
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