Russian, Ukrainian negotiators may have been poisoned during peace negotiations

Western officials suspect that a Russian oligarch and two Ukrainian officials may have been poisoned during a meeting in Kyiv to negotiate for peace in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, according to Fox News.

A report published Monday said that Roman Abramovich and at least two Ukrainian peacekeepers suffered red eyes, constant and painful tearing, and peeling skin on their faces and hands after the meeting, but have since recovered.

There was no clear evidence for who was behind the attack, but looking at who the victims suggested that Russian hardliners may have been responsible.

Western experts could not determine whether the symptoms came from a chemical or biological agent or an electromagnetic-radiation attack.

A warning

An expert who had studied Russia’s suspected nerve-gas attack on Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in 2020 called the Kyiv attack a “warning” and said it had not been intended to kill the victims.

Christo Grozev said samples of the poison could not be collected because the delegation needed to travel to Istanbul, Turkey for more peace talks. He only saw photos of the symptoms.

By the time a German-based forensic team with the required expertise arrived to examine the scene, Grozev said, too much time had passed to obtain samples.

Advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Mykhailo Podoliak denied to Fox New that any poisoning had taken place.

In addition, a source at the Ukrainian Defense Ministry also told Fox News they had not heard about the alleged poisoning until the Wall Street Journal published an article about it, and that “Minister Reznikov feels good and is working.”

“In the information field there are now many information speculations, various conspiracy theories and elements of one or another information game. Therefore, I will repeat once again – members of negotiating groups work today in regular modes,” Podoliak said.

Abramovich not sanctioned

Abramovich has been negotiating on behalf of Ukraine, and the U.S. has agreed not to sanction him for now. The U.K. and European Union have sanctioned him along with other Russian oligarchs, however.

Abramovich owns Chelsea soccer club, a minority stake in the steel company Evraz PLC, and has Portuguese citizenship.

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