Roman Abramovich is involved in talks to find a ‘peaceful resolution’ between Russia and Ukraine, according to a spokesperson for the Chelsea owner.
Abramovich released a statement on Saturday confirming his intent to hand over ‘stewardship’ of Chelsea to the trustees of the club’s charitable foundation, amid increased scrutiny on the 55-year-old in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The decision – in which his statement did not reference Russia’s invasion of the neighbouring nation – comes as Western allies impose sanctions on Russian interests.
Abramovich’s influence is said to be ‘limited’ despite alleged links to Vladimir Putin, but The Athletic are reporting he has answered a call from Ukrainian film director and producer Alexander Rodnyansky to help attempt to find a peaceful resolution.
A spokesperson for the Russian billionaire said: “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.
“Considering what is at stake, we would ask for your understanding as to why we have not commented on neither the situation as such nor his involvement. Thank you.”
Rodnyansky also confirmed Abramovich’s involvement: “I can confirm that the Ukrainian side have been trying to find someone in Russia willing to help them in finding a peaceful resolution,” he said.
“They are connected to Roman Abramovich through the Jewish community and reached out to him for help.
“Roman Abramovich has been trying to mobilize support for a peaceful resolution ever since. Although Roman 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 (President Volodymyr) Zelensky’s staff myself, and know that they are grateful for his genuine efforts.”
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