The Kremlin has confirmed that Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich has taken part in Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, amid media reports that Abramovich had surfaced as an interlocutor in facilitating potential peace talks.
In a conference call Thursday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Abramovich "did take part in the negotiations at the initial stage, that is true."
Pressed further, Peskov gave few details, but added: "And now the negotiations are going on between the two negotiating teams – Russian and Ukrainian."
Peskov was answering a question regarding an article in The Wall Street Journal that reported that the Biden administration held off on sanctions on Abramovich at the urging of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, because of the oligarch's role in potentially negotiating peace. CNN has not independently confirmed such a discussion between Washington and Kyiv and Peskov provided no additional information.
Separately, the Financial Times has reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has personally endorsed Abramovich's potential role in talks, citing two two unnamed people with direct knowledge of the matter. CNN has not independently confirmed that reporting.
It is unclear what role at this stage Abramovich is playing in prospective negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.