Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has allegedly been a victim of suspected poisoning at peace talks, as well as Ukrainian peace negotiators at the Ukraine-Belarus border on March 3. The Chelsea FC Owner and two Ukrainian peace negotiators have now allegedly recovered, but reportedly suffered sore eyes and peeling skin.
However, an unnamed US official has also told Reuters that the symptoms were due to “environmental factors”, rather than poisoning. A Ukrainian official also told the BBC that the Ukrainian peace negotiators were well and that the story was “false”.
The BBC was told by a source that Abramovich will continue with negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. He has met Ukrainian president Zelensky and traveled between Moscow and Kyiv various times.
Bellingcat can confirm that three members of the delegation attending the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia on the night of 3 to 4 March 2022 experienced symptoms consistent with poisoning with chemical weapons. One of victims was Russian entrepreneur Roman Abramovich. https://t.co/DJaZ4CoL8J
— Bellingcat (@bellingcat) March 28, 2022
Roman Abramovich was given Portuguese citizenship in April of 2021 through a Portuguese law that offered naturalization to descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Portugal around 500 years ago during the inquisition. Over 57,000 descendants of Sephardic Jews have been granted Portuguese citizenship since the implementation of this law in 2015.
Abramovich has been one of the Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the EU and UK after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Portugal has not banned him from entering the country as he is a Portuguese citizen. However, the Portuguese government announced that even those with citizenship will face EU sanctions.
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