Ukraine’s ambassador to Britain, Vadym Prystaiko, said, however: “I have no idea what Mr. Abramovich is claiming or doing. He is not a part of the negotiation team.”Ukraine’s ambassador to Britain, Vadym Prystaiko, said, however: “I have no idea what Mr. Abramovich is claiming or doing. He is not a part of the negotiation team.”

Soccer club owner. Ally of Vladimir Putin. Sanctioned oligarch. Could diplomatic go-between be added to the resume of Roman Abramovich?

The 55-year-old billionaire has swapped the skybox seat he once proudly occupied at his beloved Chelsea soccer club in Britain for a spot on the sidelines of negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow aimed at ending Russia’s bloody war in Ukraine, reports AP.

The silver-haired oil-and-aluminum tycoon stood in the background Tuesday as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan entered a hall packed with negotiators in a government building adjacent to the 19th century Ottoman palace, Dolmabahce, on the shores of the Bosporus in Istanbul.

It was left to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to try to explain Abramovich’s role.

Abramovich has been “ensuring certain contacts between the Russian and Ukrainian sides,” Peskov said, but is not an official member of the delegation. He said both sides have approved his role.

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse