Roman Abramovich seen at Russia-Ukraine peace talks in Turkey following suspected poisoning

Watch: Roman Abramovich seen at Ukraine peace talks in Turkey after poisoning allegations

Roman Abramovich is attending peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations in Istanbul – after reports emerged he had suffered symptoms of a suspected poisoning.

The oligarch was pictured at the negotiations on Tuesday morning in Istanbul as both sides held their first face-to-face negotiations in more than a fortnight.

Three sources told Reuters Mr Abramovich was present at the talks, while footage posted on social media showed him speaking to delegates. Separate pictures showed the businessman speaking to Turkish president Recep Tayipp Erdogan.


Mr Abramovich suffered symptoms of a poisoning earlier this month along with two Ukrainian peace negotiators during talks at the Ukraine-Belarus border, according to the Wall Street Journal . His symptoms included sore eyes and peeling skin, it is claimed.

The Foreign Office branded the reports “very concerning”, while education minister Will Quince told Sky News that the Government would look to “establish the facts” around the claims.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday said Mr Abramovich had offered to help broker a peace deal with the Kremlin, with the oligarch reportedly making several trips to Kyiv at the start of the month.

Mr Zelensky has asked US officials to refrain from sanctioning Mr Abramovich, claiming he could play a role in helping to negotiate a ceasefire.

Watch: Roman Abramovich ‘suffered symptoms of suspected poisoning’ after peace talks

Earlier this month, the British government froze Mr Abramovich’s assets over his links to President Vladimir Putin - plunging his football club Chelsea FC into financial crisis. The club is currently in the process of being sold but the process is being overseen by ministers.

The Kremlin has said previously that Mr Abramovich played an early role in peace talks but the process was now in the hands of the two sides’ negotiating teams.

Ukrainian and Russian delegates arrived in Istanbul on Monday night as fighting on the ground edged closer to a stalemate.

Speaking before the beginning of the negotiations on Tuesday, Mr Erdogan called for an immediate ceasefire and called on Russia to “stop this tragedy”.

“We think we have now entered a period where concrete results are needed from talks,” he added.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Monday Ukraine’s most ambitious goal at the Turkey talks this week was to agree a ceasefire. A senior US official said Russian President Vladimir Putin does not appear ready to make compromises to end the war.