Roman Abramovich remains mediator between Putin and Ukrainian authorities, but his role in negotiations has weakened — Meduza

Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, hosted participation in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, continues to participate in contacts between the countries, but now his role is reduced to negotiations on the exchange of prisoners or the “grain deal”. This is stated in The Wall Street Journal article dedicated to the billionaire.

Abramovich remains an acceptable intermediary for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukraine and its allies, newspaper sources say. They claim that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Abramovich has personally met with Putin and talked to him on the phone several times. The businessman also has a direct connection with the head of the presidential administration, Anton Vaino.

According to the interlocutors of the publication, Abramovich brings Kyiv’s position to Putin, and then conveys the Kremlin’s point of view to the Ukrainian side. Including he helps with small exchanges of prisoners every few weeks, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Ukrainian and Western officials told The Wall Street Journal they no longer expect Abramovich to play a key role as mediator in dialogue between the warring countries. Moreover, his motives are questioned by the Westerners, who see him as an attempt to achieve the lifting of sanctions. At the same time, the United States has so far refrained from including the businessman on the sanctions list, following the UK, Canada and the European Union.

In a commentary to the newspaper, Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, said that in discussions between Russia and Ukraine, Abramovich “can play a certain role, if necessary, intervene in some issues.” “But this is not the role of a mediator that he had in the first rounds of the negotiation process,” he said.

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After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Roman Abramovich was among the Russians who were sanctioned by the UK, the EU and Canada. Businessman tried to challenge Limits.

At the same time, Abramovich was not included in the US sanctions list. According to media reports, Ukraine asked the White House not to impose sanctions against him after the businessman became an unofficial mediator in the peace talks that representatives of Ukraine and Russia held in Turkey shortly after the start of the war.

Po data Financial Times, Russian President Putin personally “blessed” Abramovich to mediate in peace talks. In the Kremlin spokethat the businessman is not among the official Russian negotiators, but is involved in ensuring contacts between Moscow and Kyiv.

Ukraine itself recently added Abramovich to their sanctions lists, but the restrictions are suspended until the exchange of prisoners is completed. On the participation of the Russian billionaire in the exchange process, including the defenders of Azovstal, reported British media.

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