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Chelsea owner Abramovich asked to help broker 'peaceful resolution', claims spokesman, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine

12:18 GMT 28/02/2022
Roman Abramovich FC Chelsea
The billionaire businessman has passed on the "stewardship and care" of the Blues amid Russia's invasion of their neighbouring country

A spokesman for Roman Abramovich claims the Chelsea owner has been asked to help broker a "peaceful resolution" following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich announced his decision to hand "stewardship and care" of Chelsea over to trustees on Saturday amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The 55-year-old billionaire is now reportedly playing a role in trying to arrange a cessation of hostilities, having been approached by Ukrainian officials, according to a spokesman, due to his status as one of the richest and most influential people in Russia.

Ukraine reach out to Abramovich

A spokesman for Abramovich told the PA news agency: "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."

What else has been said?

Ukrainian film director Alexander Rodnyansky has also spoken out to claim Abramovich's involvement in peace talks, saying he was the only one to respond to the country's calls for aid.

"I can confirm that the Ukrainian side have been trying to find someone in Russia willing to help them in finding a peaceful resolution," Rodnyansky said to the Jerusalem Post.

"They are connected to Roman Abramovich through the Jewish community and reached out to him for help.

"Roman Abramovich has been trying to mobilise 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 Zelensky's staff myself, and know that they are grateful for his genuine efforts."

In response to the story, Labour MP Chris Bryant tweeted: "This looks like another Russian lie in an attempt to avoid being sanctioned. If he’s so close to Putin that he can wield such influence, if he’s visited Putin this last week, he should be sanctioned now."

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