Abramovich met with Ukrainian negotiators to discuss ways of reviving the negotiations, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The Russian billionaire, who has longtime ties to President Vladimir Putin, has been acting as an informal mediator since the war began in late February, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked him to get involved.
In an interview with Ukrainian online media published on Saturday, Zelensky said the talks are at a “dead end because we will not trade our territory and our people.” He said that if Russian forces follow through on a threat to destroy the remaining Ukrainian troops fighting in Mariupol, that may “put an end” to talks.
In Russia, Abramovich “represents the side that backs a diplomatic resolution and end to the war,” he said. “Nobody can guarantee that it isn’t a game.”
A spokesperson for Abramovich declined to comment on whether the tycoon is in Kyiv, as did Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reuters and Bloomberg