World

Kremlin Denies Russian Millionaire Poisoned During Ukraine Peace Talks

This is part of an information sabotage, the Kremlin said of the poisoning report. (FAIL)

Moscow:

The Kremlin on Tuesday denied reports that Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich had been poisoned while taking part in peace talks over Ukraine, but confirmed he was acting as a mediator.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Abramovich and Ukrainian negotiators were the target of a suspected poison attack, potentially by Moscow hardline groups seeking to sabotage peace talks.

“This is part information sabotage, part information war,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Of course this report doesn’t correspond to reality.”

Sources familiar with the matter previously confirmed the report to AFP, stating: “Unfortunately this happened, what the Wall Street Journal reported.”

After a meeting in the Ukrainian capital, Abramovich and at least two senior Ukrainian consultants experienced symptoms including red eyes, painful watery eyes, and flaky skin on their faces and hands, according to a source quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

Adviser to the president of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak did not confirm the incident.

Peskov said the billionaire businessman, who has been placed on the Western sanctions list along with other oligarchs, joined Tuesday’s talks in Istanbul.

The state news agency RIA Novosti reported that Abramovich spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday morning before talks began.

“He was not an official member of the (Russian) delegation” at the negotiations, but “was involved in ensuring certain relations between the Russian and Ukrainian sides”, Peskov said.

This role requires approval from both sides, a Kremlin spokesman said. “In the case of Abramovich, approval is there”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday his government had received offers of support from Russian businessmen, including Abramovich, who owns and is working to sell Chelsea and has long -standing ties with President Vladimir Putin.

Zelensky told reporters that the businessman said they wanted to “do something” and “help somehow” to reduce the Russian military offensive on Ukraine that has left thousands dead.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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