Amidst the rising tension between Russia and Ukraine, an unlikely ally has emerged to negotiate peace. The billionaire owner of the Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich has been reportedly assisting with talks in Ukraine. 

According to the Jerusalem Post, Roman was approached by the Ukrainian authorities to travel to Belarus, where the negotiations are taking place. 

Chelsea FC.

This was later confirmed by his spokesperson, who 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 understanding as to why we have not commented on neither the situation as such nor his involvement,”

The delegation from both the Russian and the Ukrainian sides arrived at the border town of Gomel in Belarus, to find a way to end the conflict. Abramovich is said to have close ties with powerful Jewish communities in both countries. 

https://twitter.com/EmenaIo/status/1498273126219751425?s=20&t=vU0yFEnH-OwdPCrjfiBtVQ

While Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Kornichuk has not specified Abramovich’s involvement in the talks, he did comment on the situation saying “we appreciate anyone who can help, if he has enough influence.”

The Chelsea FC owner was approached by Alexander Rodnyansky, a two-time Oscar-nominated producer and Ukrainian national, who is said to have close ties with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

https://twitter.com/nicktolhurst/status/1498273855424630792?s=20&t=vU0yFEnH-OwdPCrjfiBtVQ

“The Ukrainians had been trying to find someone in Russia who could help in finding a peaceful resolution. They reached out for help and Roman is the person who decided to help and to mobilize support for a peaceful resolution,” Rodnyansky explained

He further added how Abramovich’s “influence is limited” but he still remained hopeful, saying, “I don’t know if there will be an impact but we know Zelenskyy’s staff and I am from Ukraine and they are grateful for the efforts.” 

The Chelsea boss has been under increased scrutiny ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, for his alleged close ties with Vladimir Putin. While some UK MPs have called for sanctions on the billionaire, Abramovich has handed over his stewardship to the trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation. 

In a statement, he wrote, ”During my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea FC, I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the Club, whose job it is ensuring that we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future, while also playing a positive role in our communities.” 

https://twitter.com/FabrizioRomano/status/1498032782190071811?s=20&t=vU0yFEnH-OwdPCrjfiBtVQ

“I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values. That is why I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.

“I believe that currently, they are in the best position to look after the interests of the Club, players, staff, and fans.”