Well, here is a headline I didn’t expect to wake up to, and that may be saying something after the last few days. “Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich involved in Russia-Ukraine peace talks, claims his spokesperson”.
“I can confirm 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. Considering what is at stake, we would ask for understanding as to why we have not commented on either the situation as such or his involvement.”
-Abramovich spokesperson; source: Jewish News
As the Jerusalem Post details, Abramovich is personally there at the talks between the two sides in Gomel, Belarus at Ukraine’s behest. “We appreciate anyone who can help, if he has enough influence,” is what Ukrainian ambassador told the Post when asked about it. Abramovich’s maternal grandparents were born in Ukraine.
Alexander Rodnyansky, who produced the Oscar-nominated movies Leviathan and Loveless, among others, has confirmed the Chelsea owner’s involvement as well.
“I can confirm that the Ukrainian side have been trying to find someone in Russian willing to help them in finding a peaceful resolution. They are connected to Mr Abramovich through the Jewish community and reached out to him for help. Mr Abramovich has been trying to mobilise support for a peaceful resolution ever since.
“Although Mr 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 Zelensky’s staff myself, and know that they are grateful for his genuine efforts.”
-Alexander Rodnyansky; source: Jewish News
While some, including the politicians calling for Abramovich to be sanctioned, are seeing this as “another Russian lie” to avoid personal repercussions, we can only hope that the two sides can at least negotiate a ceasefire somehow so that no more lives have to be lost and the conflict stops escalating.