Current Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly 'went blind for hours' after the Russian and two Ukrainian peace negotiators suffered suspected poisoning.
The WallStreetJournal claimed that alongside Abramovich 'going blind for hours', his skin also started to peel on his hands and face. The attack was reportedly caused by the trio eating poisoned chocolates at peace talks between the two nations, although a US official has cast doubt on the poisoning.
The reported talks took place in Kyiv on March 3, with four delegates eating chocolate and drinking water – although one member didn't suffer any symptoms. However, it is claimed the trio travelled to Lviv then to Poland the next day for talks to continue, despite the painful symptoms.
Ex-chemical weapons Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon has claimed the suspected poisoning 'had all the hallmarks of the Russian secret service'.
He said: "We understand the negotiators were poisoned with organophosphates which is the base chemical in nerve agents.”
However, he also suggested that Abramovich might not have been the target and it would be 'very strange' if the Russians had targeted the Chelsea owner. Bretton-Gordon added: "We saw from the Salisbury operation that the Russians are not as sharp and professional as you might expect.”
A Ukrainian presidential administration has dismissed the poisoning allegation as "speculation".
Mykhailo Podolyak, who is a Ukrainian negotiator, said: "There is a lot of speculation, various conspiracy theories." While another member of the team asked the public not to trust "unverified information".
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said 'everyone is thirsty for news' but he added: "I advise anyone going for negotiations with Russia not to eat or drink anything, (and) preferably avoid touching surfaces".
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