A Ukrainian negotiator and millionaire Roman Abramovich suffer “symptoms of possible poisoning”

Flags of Ukraine and Russia on a table for negotiation in Belarus

Flags of Ukraine and Russia on a table for negotiation in Belarus – Europa Press/Contact/Lu Jinbo

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One of the members of the Ukrainian negotiating delegation, Rustem Umerov, and the Russian millionaire Roman Abramovich, also involved in the contacts, have had “symptoms of possible poisoning” in recent weeks, according to sources cited by media such as ‘The Guardian’ or ‘The Wall Street Journal’.

Sources close to Abramovich have confirmed this information, according to the BBC, although they have not given data on the possible poisoning of Umerov.

However, members of the Ukrainian delegation have denied that there is any kind of sequel after the meetings. One of them, Mikhailo Podoliak, has pointed out that “everyone” they are well and have signed up for “speculations” and “conspiracy theories”according to the Ukrainian press.

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Umerov himself has confirmed that he is “well” through a message on Facebook. “This is my response to the yellow press. Do not trust any unverified information. There is also an information war going on”has warned.

Abramovich participated in informal peace negotiations in kyiv in early March on his own behalf. During his stay in the Ukrainian capital he began to feel bad and “lost vision for several hours”.

Umerov also participated in these negotiations. Both later left for Poland and then for Istanbul, where they received medical attention.

“It was during his first trip to kyiv. Roman lost his sight for several hours. In Turkey they were treated at a clinic, he and Rustem”has indicated the source quoted by ‘The Guardian’.

The information has been published first by ‘The Wall Street Journal’ and by the investigative journalism portal Bellingcat. “Bellingcat can confirm that three members of the delegation who participated in the Ukraine-Russia peace talks on the night of March 3-4, 2022 suffered symptoms that could be due to chemical weapons poisoning. One of the victims is the Russian businessman Roman Abramovich”posted Bellingcat on Twitter.

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Symptoms include inflammation of the eyes and skin or piercing pain in the eyes. “The three men suffering from symptoms only drank chocolate and water in the hours before the onset of symptoms. A fourth member of the team also consumed these substances and has not shown any symptoms”according to Bellingcat.

The portal assures that, after consulting with experts, they have concluded that these symptoms are probably the consequence of a “poisoning with an undetermined chemical weapon”.

Abramovich’s health condition finally improved and he returned to kyiv to participate in the next round of negotiations, the source stressed. The fourth round of informal contacts between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations begins in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Another member of the Ukrainian negotiating delegation, Denis Kireev, was assassinated on March 5 in an action by the Ukrainian secret service (SBU), which accused him of treason.

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