Abramovich and at least two senior members of the Ukrainian delegation suffered eye and skin inflammation and pain in the eyes, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
Abramovich lost his sight for several hours before being treated at a clinic in Turkey, sources informed The Independent. Investigative website Bellingcat said the symptoms were “consistent with poisoning with chemical weapons.”
The negotiations in Ukraine’s capital took place on the afternoon of the 3rd March and ran until about 10pm. Abramovich travelled between Moscow and Kyiv for talks at the start of the month because he had accepted Ukraine’s request to help negotiate a peaceful end to Vladimir Putin’s invasion just days after it had started.
The Kremlin said last week that he played an early role in peace talks, but that the process was now in the hands of the two sides’ negotiating teams. But a person close to the Russian billionaire said he had decided to continue to play a “limited role” in the peace talks despite the suspected poisoning. His late mother was from Ukraine.
Ukraine’s MP Rustem Umerov and Crimean Tatar lawmaker Rustem Umerov were also among those present.
A US official said on Monday that the “intelligence highly suggests” the cause was environmental, “not poisoning.”
Meanwhile the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) described the reports as “very concerning” while Ukraine’s foreign minister said he advised “anyone going for negotiations with the Russian Federation not to eat or drink anything and avoid touching any surface.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SCOTSMAN.COM