Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is attempting to broker a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, according to his spokesman.
Following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian billionaire has been pressured to speak out.
As a major oligarch “with links to the Russian state,” some MPs have called for sanctions against him.
The Chelsea owner’s spokesman said: “I can confirm that the Ukrainian side contacted Roman Abramovich for assistance in reaching a peaceful resolution, and that he has been trying to assist ever since.
“Given the gravity of the situation and his involvement, we ask for your understanding as to why we have not commented on either the situation or his involvement.”
The participation of Mr. Abramovich was prompted by a request from Ukrainian film producer Alexander Rodnyansky.
His role has not been revealed, but it has been acknowledged that his influence is “limited.”
According to Mr. Rodnyansky, “I can confirm that the Ukrainian side has been looking for someone willing to help them find a peaceful solution in Russia.
“Through the Jewish community, they became acquainted with Roman Abramovich and sought his assistance.”
He continued, ” “Since then, Roman Abramovich has been trying to rally support for a peaceful resolution.
“Although Roman Abramovich’s clout is limited, he is the only one who has responded and taken action.
“I’m not sure if this will have an impact or not, but I’m in touch with (Ukraine President Volodymyr) Zelensky’s staff and know that they appreciate his sincere efforts.”
Important developments include:
- Putin has placed nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.
- The curfew in Kyiv has been lifted, putting police on high alert.
- Ukraine and Russia are meeting to discuss the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.
- The next 24 hours, according to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, are “crucial.”
- ‘Russian saboteurs’ kill a schoolgirl and her parents.
- Russian Banks rouble falls to an all-time low.
On Saturday, the Russian billionaire said that he would relinquish control of Chelsea but would remain the club’s owner in a 110-word statement that made no mention of Russia or Ukraine.
However, the decision comes as Western countries tighten sanctions on Russian billionaires and interests in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
His message was widely panned, so Chelsea issued a second, more concise statement 14 hours later, on Sunday morning, saying: “Ukraine’s situation is dreadful and tragic. Chelsea FC sends its condolences to everyone in Ukraine. Everyone in the club is hoping for a peaceful resolution.”
Mr Abramovich has attempted to cede stewardship of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation trustees after stepping back from day-to-day management.
The six Chelsea Foundation trustees, on the other hand, have not yet consented to take over the club and are seeking additional information on whether the plan is legal under UK charity legislation.
In the House of Commons last week, former Labour minister Chris Bryant urged for Mr Abramovich to be barred from controlling the club.
The Russian oligarch “remains of interest to HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices,” according to a leaked 2019 Home Office document.