Roman Abramovich and two others delegates were reportedly ‘poisoned during Peace Talks’.
- The incident has raised serious safety questions about the continuation of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and President Zelensky’s involvement.
EKO HOT BLOG reports that the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich was poisoned along with Ukrainian negotiators with chemical weapons during peace talks on Monday.
Abramovich, and two senior Ukrainian officials, are said to have developed peeling skin on their faces and hands, red eyes, and constant and painful tearing, the paper reported.
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Quoting people familiar with the matter, it added that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has met with Abramovich, was not been affected.
The lives of the Chelsea owner – who has been sanctioned by the UK government – and two male peace negotiators are not thought to be in danger from the apparent poisoning, blamed on an ‘unidentified chemical weapon’.
The incident is likely to raise serious safety questions about the continuation of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and President Zelensky’s involvement.
Experts believe the suspected attack was intended to scare its victims, rather than cause life-threatening damage.
Widespread reports have previously suggested Russian forces are attempting to assassinate Zelensky, but it is unclear who the target of the alleged poisoning was.
Abramovich has previously passed a handwritten note from Zelensky to Putin and is widely believed to be acting as a go-between for the two leaders.
Russia has been widely blamed for a series of poisonings around the world, including a Novichok incident in Salisbury, the death of Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko and near-fatal poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny.
The investigative media group Bellingcat said the latest incident took place overnight from March 3 to 4, with three people experiencing ‘symptoms consistent with poisoning with chemical weapons, including the Russian oligarch turned negotiator Abramovich.
That was ten days before he was spotted waiting for a private jet at an Israeli airport on Monday, March 14.
‘Abramovich, along with another Russian entrepreneur, had taken part in the negotiations alongside Ukraine’s MP Rustem Umerov’, Bellingcat tweeted.
The site said the three men had only consumed water and chocolate – while another man who ate and drank the same things did not experience symptoms.
It continued: ‘The negotiation round on the afternoon of 3 March took place on Ukrainian territory, and lasted until about 10 pm.
‘Three members of the negotiating team retreated to an apartment in Kyiv later that night and felt initial symptoms – including eye and skin inflammation and piercing pain in the eyes – later that night.
‘The symptoms did not abate until the morning.’
President Zelensky’s spokesman said he had no information about any suspected poisoning, according to the WSJ.
It cited western experts suggesting it was difficult to confirm if the symptoms were caused by a chemical or biological agent or by an electromagnetic-radiation attack.
Bellingcat claimed the most likely cause of the symptoms was an ‘international poisoning with an undefined chemical weapon’, adding that ‘microwave irradiation’ was another possible theory.
It cited two chemical weapons experts and a doctor suggesting the symptoms were ‘most consistent with variants of porphyrin, organophosphates, or bicyclic substances’.
‘The experts said the dosage and type of toxin used was likely insufficient to cause life-threatening damage, and most likely was intended to scare the victims as opposed to cause permanent damage’, Bellingcat tweeted.
A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that Abramovich had not allowed it to stop him working.
The Kremlin has said the oligarch played an early role in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine but that the process was now in the hands of the two sides’ negotiating teams.
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