Kuleba: Ukrainian negotiators advised not to eat or drink at Russia talks

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry advised its negotiators to avoid eating or drinking at the peace talks with Russia in Istanbul amid concerns that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and part of the Ukrainian delegation had been poisoned during a meeting on March 3rd.

In an interview on Ukrayina 24, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Dmytro Kuleba noted, “I advise anyone going for negotiations with Russia not to eat or drink anything, preferably avoid touching surfaces.”

On Monday, Bellingcat and the Wall Street Journal reported that Abramovich and two Ukrainian negotiators had suffered “red eyes, constant and painful tearing, and peeling skin on their faces and hands” after a March 3rd meeting. The symptoms are believed to have been due to chemical weapons poisoning.

A spokesperson for Abramovich confirmed that the oligarch had been contacted by authorities in Kyiv to help facilitate peace talks with Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that, “Abramovich is involved in ensuring certain contacts between the Russian and Ukrainian sides. He is not an official member of the delegation.”

Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky advised US President Joe Biden against placing sanctions on Abramovich.

  Russia, Ukraine, Peace Talks

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