Intelligence suggests 'environmental' factor sickened Abramovich, Ukrainian negotiators - U.S. official

FILE PHOTO: Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich walks past the High Court in London

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. official said on Monday that intelligence suggests the sickening of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian peace negotiators was due to an environmental factor, not poisoning.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal and investigative outlet Bellingcat reported that Abramovich and the negotiators had suffered symptoms of suspecting poisoning earlier this month after a meeting in Kyiv.

The U.S. official told Reuters: "The intelligence highly suggests this was environmental," adding: "E.g., not poisoning." The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to elaborate.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Writing by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)