Owners Chelsea FC have acted as “peacekeepers” in the ongoing peace talks over the Russo-Ukrainian war. He, along with two officials in negotiations, are known to have suffered from symptoms of poisoning after talks earlier this month, on the night of March 3-4.
They say this includes peeling skin and temporary vision loss.
There has been much speculation about the cause of these symptoms, with some suggesting that it is simply the result of “environmental” factors, not poisoning.
The latest, perhaps the most serious, advice comes from Vladimir Uglev, a Russian chemist involved in the manufacture of the nerve agent Novichok.
He said negotiators may have been poisoned with a modified form of chloropicrin, which was widely used in World War One.
Mr Uglev told the Times: “The information I currently have allows me to come to the conclusion that the poisoning was from a military grade poison.”
He added that chloropicrin in its pure form “has a very strong, specific and extraordinary odor, making it difficult to use in poisoning without being detected”.
Instead, he suggested: “Perhaps, it is some kind of less detectable form of chloropicrin. But I have not worked in this industry since 1990, and I have never been responsible for matters relating to the development and use of this type of poison – the kind used in police tear gas.”
The Bellingcat investigative group reported in a post on Twitter that including Abramovich, who suffered from poisoning symptoms “only consumed chocolate and water a few hours before symptoms appeared”.
READ MORE: Abramovich says he was ‘blind for hours’ as ‘skin peeled off his face’
Bedingfield said such incidents were “historically in the Russian playbook”.
Russia itself has denied reports that Abramovich and others who attended the talks were poisoned.
So is Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK.
He, emphatically, told Sky News: “Frankly, if Russia wanted them poisoned to death, they would be dead by now.”
Mr Abramovich, having recovered from symptoms of unconfirmed origin, yesterday, on Tuesday, was involved in the latest round of talks in Turkey.
Russia’s Chief Negotiator Vladimir Medinsky later said there had been “meaningful discussions” in the talks, but a breakthrough continued to seem out of reach.