Billionaire soccer club owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly assisting with peace efforts in Ukraine.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Abramovich has been contacted by Ukrainian authorities and in response he has flown to Belarus where peace talks are taking place.
“I can confirm that Roman Abramovich was contacted by the Ukrainian side for support in achieving a peaceful resolution, and that he has been trying to help ever since,” said the spokesperson.
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The film producer Alexander Rodnyansky is understood to be involved in the move.
“I can confirm that the Ukrainian side have been trying to find someone in Russia willing to help them,” Rodnyansky told the BBC. “They are connected to Roman Abramovich through the Jewish community and reached out to him for help. Abramovich has been trying to mobilize support for a peaceful resolution ever since.
“Although Abramovich’s influence is limited, he is the only one who responded and taken it upon himself to try. If this will have an impact or not, I don’t know, but I am in contact with [Ukraine President Volodymyr] Zelensky’s staff myself, and know that they are grateful for his genuine efforts.”
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Last week, Chelsea Football Club owner Abramovich, who is one of Russia’s richest people and has long been linked with having close ties to the Kremlin and president Vladimir Putin, said he would hand over stewardship of the club to its trustees.
The move drew criticism for not referencing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Some UK MPs have called for Abramovich to face sanctions as the West continues to target Russian assets.
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