Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who is sanctioned by European nations over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was “sincerely” working to end the war.
He has been liaising between Kyiv and Moscow since the invasion began on Feb. 24, Cavusoglu said.
Abramovich made a surprise appearance at Ukraine-Russia negotiations in Istanbul on Tuesday.
The two teams had sat facing each other at a long table in the presidential office on an Ottoman palace grounds.
The Russian oligarch sat in the front row of observers wearing a blue suit, a Turkish presidential video showed.
In the most tangible sign yet of progress towards ending the war, Russia emerged from the talks promising to scale down military operations around Kyiv and the country’s north, and Ukraine proposed adopting a neutral status. Read full story
For Abramovich, signals have emerged since the war began that he has sought to encourage negotiations, and he has travelled to Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and Israel in March. Two of his superyachts are docked at Turkish resorts.
His presence initially baffled at least one Ukrainian diplomat, while Moscow said he was not formally negotiating but rather there as a go-between and had approval from the Ukrainian side.