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参与谈判、疑遭下毒:漩涡中的俄罗斯寡头阿布拉莫维奇

Sanctioned Oligarch’s Presence Adds Intrigue to Ukraine-Russia Talks
参与谈判、疑遭下毒:漩涡中的俄罗斯寡头阿布拉莫维奇

LVIV, Ukraine — When diplomats from Russia and Ukraine met for talks in the 19th-century Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul on Tuesday, their host urged the antagonists to reach a cease-fire “to the benefit of everyone.”

乌克兰利沃夫——周二,当来自俄罗斯和乌克兰的外交官在伊斯坦布尔的19世纪建筑多尔玛巴赫切宫举行会谈时,东道主敦促双方达成停火协议,“这对大家都好。”

Those words from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey may have resonated in particular with a Russian oligarch in the room, mysteriously watching from a front-row seat.

土耳其总统埃尔多安的这番话在一位俄罗斯寡头听来可能特别有共鸣,此刻他正神秘地坐在前排旁听。
 

土耳其总统办公室提供的视频显示,拥有切尔西足球俱乐部的俄罗斯寡头罗曼·阿布拉莫维奇(中)周二出现在伊斯坦布尔的和平谈判中。

The oligarch, Roman Abramovich, the 55-year-old owner of Britain’s storied Chelsea Football Club soccer team, is not a member of the Russian side of the talks. He has been sanctioned by the British government — but, curiously, not the United States — for ties with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who started the war.

现年55岁的寡头罗曼·阿布拉莫维奇是英国著名的切尔西足球俱乐部的老板,他不是俄罗斯一方的谈判成员。他因为与发动战争的俄罗斯总统普京的关系而受到英国政府制裁——但奇怪的是,美国却没有制裁他。

Britain’s foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has said that oligarchs like Mr. Abramovich should “hang their heads in shame.” Ukraine’s ambassador to Britain, Vadym Prystaiko, told the BBC that he had “no idea what Mr. Abramovich is claiming or doing” at the talks. Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, would not specify what Mr. Abramovich was doing but said Moscow had “approved” his participation to coordinate between both sides.

英国外交大臣利兹·特拉斯曾表示,阿布拉莫维奇这样的寡头应该“羞愧地低下头”。乌克兰驻英国大使瓦迪姆·普里斯塔伊科告诉BBC,他不知道阿布拉莫维奇在谈判中“说了或正在做什么”。克里姆林宫发言人德米特里·佩斯科夫没有具体说明阿布拉莫维奇在做什么,但表示莫斯科“同意”他的参与,以便在双方之间进行协调。

The unknowns of why he was in the room only added intrigue to the talks, which were reported to have made the first significant progress since the war began more than a month ago. And in a further hint of mystery, news emerged that Mr. Abramovich had been entangled in a bizarre episode, earlier this month, concerning whether he and members of the Ukrainian negotiating team were poisoned.

不知道他为什么出现在会谈中,这使人们对会谈更加好奇。据报道,会谈自一个多月前战争开始以来取得了第一个重大进展。更加神秘的是,有消息称,本月早些时候,阿布拉莫维奇卷入了关于他和乌克兰谈判小组成员是否被下毒的奇怪事件。

The oligarch, who did not comment on why he was attending the talks, appeared to be trying to present himself to the world as an earnest and trusted conduit between Kyiv and Moscow. Critics of Mr. Abramovich suggested he was grandstanding for publicity, part of an effort to save his empire.

阿布拉莫维奇没有就参加会谈的原因作出评论。这位寡头似乎试图把自己当作基辅和莫斯科之间的一个认真且值得信赖的传声筒。批评阿布拉莫维奇的人认为,他是在哗众取宠,是为了拯救他的商业帝国。

Still, Mr. Abramovich has gotten close to a key member of Ukraine’s negotiating team, Rustem Umerov, according to a person familiar with the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are delicate. Mr. Umerov, this person said, believes that Mr. Abramovich wants to see the war stopped.

不过,据一位知情人士透露,阿布拉莫维奇与乌克兰谈判小组的关键成员鲁斯特姆·乌梅罗夫关系密切。由于谈判的敏感性,这位人士要求不具名。这位人士说,乌梅罗夫认为阿布拉莫维奇希望看到战争停止。

By the time Mr. Abramovich had been sanctioned by the British government, he had been playing a quiet role in the peace process. He was acknowledged as part of a public round of negotiations in Belarus that began four days into the war. But now reports have emerged of Mr. Abramovich’s participation in a less publicized track, mediated by Turkey, which had him shuttling between Kyiv, Moscow and Istanbul.

在被英国政府制裁之前,阿布拉莫维奇一直悄悄在和平进程中发挥作用。战争打响四天后,在白俄罗斯进行的公开谈判开始,他被确认参与了该谈判。但现在有报道称,阿布拉莫维奇出现在另一条相对鲜为人知的路线上,由土耳其主持调停,这使得他穿梭于基辅、莫斯科和伊斯坦布尔之间。

His role included personally delivering a handwritten letter by President Volodomyr Zelensky of Ukraine addressing an outline of his terms for an agreement to Mr. Putin, according to a report from The Sunday Times.

据《星期日泰晤士报》报道,他的职责包括亲自递交乌克兰总统泽连斯基的一封亲笔信,信中概述了他与普京达成协议的条款。

Of all the rich businessmen around the Russian president, Mr. Abramovich, a Russian-Portuguese-Israeli multibillionaire, stands alone in his ability to combine both a reputation for high-level Kremlin connections and a celebrity profile — if not status and acceptance — in the capitals of the West.

在俄罗斯总统身边的所有富商中,能在与克里姆林宫高层关系紧密的同时又在西方国家首都保持名人身份——更不用说地位和认可度,唯独拥有俄罗斯、葡萄牙和以色列国籍的亿万富翁阿布拉莫维奇能做到。

Mr. Abramovich started working in business in the late 1980s, buying and selling dolls, chocolates, cigarettes, and more. He began to amass his fortune in the mid-1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when he and a business partner persuaded the Russian government to sell them the state-run oil company Sibneft for about $200 million. In 2005, while he was serving as the governor of Russia’s resource-rich northeastern province of Chukotka, he sold his stake back to the government for $11.9 billion.

阿布拉莫维奇在1980年代后期开始做生意,买卖玩偶、巧克力、香烟等商品。苏联解体后的1990年代中期,他开始积累财富,当时他和一位商业伙伴说服俄罗斯政府以约2亿美元的价格将国有石油公司Sibneft出售给他们。2005年,他在担任资源丰富的俄罗斯东北部楚科奇省省长期间,以119亿美元的价格将所持股份卖回给了政府。

As Mr. Putin brought businessmen to heel by jailing and intimidating them, Mr. Abramovich was among the billionaires who managed to remain on good terms with the Kremlin. He used his wealth to buy luxury properties in New York, London, Tel Aviv, St. Barts and Aspen, Colorado, as well as two superyachts, multiple Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin sports cars, and a private Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet — now grounded because of the sanctions on him.

当普京通过监禁和恐吓商人来让他们屈服时,阿布拉莫维奇是成功与克里姆林宫保持良好关系的亿万富翁之一。他用他的财富购买了纽约、伦敦、特拉维夫、圣巴茨和科罗拉多州阿斯彭的豪宅,两艘超级游艇,多辆法拉利、保时捷和阿斯顿马丁跑车,以及一架私人波音787梦想客机——由于他被制裁而停飞。

He has also extensively funded the Moscow art scene, including as co-founder of the Garage Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, and played a role on the board of the famed Bolshoi Theater.

他还广泛资助了莫斯科艺术界,包括与人一同创办车库当代艺术博物馆,并在著名的莫斯科大剧院担任董事会成员。

Last year, his net worth was estimated by Forbes at $14.5 billion, making him one of Israel’s richest citizens and the 11th richest Russian. Much of it may have evaporated because of the onerous sanctions. Britain has imposed such tight restrictions on Mr. Abramovich’s Chelsea club that some say they amount to government control.

去年,福布斯估计他的净资产为145亿美元,使他成为以色列最富有的公民之一和俄罗斯第11大富豪。由于严厉的制裁,其中大部分可能已经蒸发。英国对阿布拉莫维奇的切尔西俱乐部施加了严格的限制,以至于有人说这些限制相当于政府接管。

On the eve of the Ukraine-Russia discussions in Istanbul, reports emerged in The Wall Street Journal and in Bellingcat, an investigative journalism group, that Mr. Abramovich, Mr. Umerov and another Russian businessman had suffered symptoms associated with poisoning between the night of March 3 and the morning of March 4 after a round of consultations.

在伊斯坦布尔举行的俄乌会谈前夕,《华尔街日报》和调查新闻组织Bellingcat报道称,在一轮磋商后,阿布拉莫维奇、乌梅罗夫和另一名俄罗斯商人在3月3日晚间和3月4日早上出现了与中毒相关的症状。

According to Bellingcat, the participants all drank only water and ate chocolate. Negotiations went until 10 p.m. that night in Kyiv, and overnight the men began experiencing the symptoms, including impaired vision and peeling skin.

根据Bellingcat的说法,参与者仅喝水和吃巧克力。在基辅的谈判一直持续到当晚10点,夜间,这些人开始出现症状,包括视力受损和脱皮。

As they drove from Kyiv to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv — en route, via Poland, to the next round of negotiations in Turkey — the team enlisted the help of Bellingcat’s executive director, Christo Grozev, who had extensively researched the poisoning of the Russian opposition politician, Aleksei A. Navalny.

他们将途经波兰前往土耳其进行下一轮谈判。当他们从基辅驱车前往乌克兰西部城市利沃夫时,该团队向Bellingcat总干事克里斯托·格罗泽夫寻求帮助,他对俄罗斯反对派政治人物阿列克谢·A·纳瓦尔尼中毒事件进行过广泛的研究。

The symptoms were severe enough that Mr. Abramovich asked the scientist examining him, “Are we dying?” one person who was present told The New York Times.

在场的一位人士告诉《纽约时报》,这些症状非常严重,以至于阿布拉莫维奇问给他做检查的科学家:“我们是不是要死了?”

The experts who examined the men said “the dosage and type of toxin used was likely insufficient to cause life-threatening damage, and most likely was intended to scare the victims as opposed to cause permanent damage,” according to a series of Twitter postings from Bellingcat. “The victims said they were not aware of who might have had an interest in an attack,” they said.

检查过这些中毒者的专家说,“毒剂的剂量和类型不足以导致危及生命的伤害,很有可能只是为了恐吓受害人,不是想造成永久性伤害,”Bellingcat的一系列推文说。“受害人说他们不知道什么人会有意发起这样一种攻击,”他说。

Some Western officials sought to tamp down concerns over possible poisoning, suggesting that “environmental factors” were responsible.

一些西方官员认为不应过多关注下毒的可能性,他们的意思是此事是“环境因素”导致的。

“The evidence is rather sketchy and in a difficult place,” one Western official said.

“现在没有切实的证据,而且处境很困难,”一位西方官员说。

Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said Tuesday that the reports of poisoning were part of an “information war.”

克里姆林宫发言人佩斯科夫周二表示,有关下毒的报道是“信息战”的一部分。

Besides the British sanctions on him, Mr. Abramovich also has come under European Union and Canadian sanctions. Reports have emerged of Mr. Zelensky asking President Biden to refrain from sanctioning Mr. Abramovich because of the role he has been playing.

除了英国,阿布拉西莫维奇还受到欧盟和加拿大的制裁。有报道称,由于他所扮演的角色,泽连斯基曾要求拜登总统不要制裁他。

“This is a combined operation — to help him and to help the Kremlin,” said Ksenia Svetlova, a Moscow-born Israeli political analyst, former lawmaker, and expert on the Russian Israeli community.

“这是一个联合行动——为了帮助他,帮助克里姆林,”莫斯科出生的以色列政治分析人士、前议员、以色列俄裔社区专家克谢尼娅·斯维特洛娃说。

“Moscow thinks they can use him,” she said, “and the West also thinks they can use him.”

“莫斯科认为他有用,”她说,“西方也认为他有用。”

The fact that he is not part of Russia’s official delegation, she said, gave him more leeway to reach a compromise.

她说,他并非俄罗斯官方代表团成员这一点,让他有更多达成妥协的空间。

“It’s the story of good cop, bad cop — there is the official delegation, and Abramovich has a little more freedom. He’s another arm of the Kremlin — not an official arm, but a softer one.”

“这是个唱红脸白脸的问题——有官方的代表团,也有相对更自由的阿布拉莫维奇。他是克里姆林宫的一个分支——不是正式分支,但相对软一些。”

For Chelsea supporters, details of Mr. Abramovich’s role as an apparent intermediary has only led to further confusion about how the billionaire oligarch should be regarded. “The fact he’s trying to broker peace does put a slightly different slant on things than how they appeared to be two or three weeks ago,” said Tim Rolls, a member of the Chelsea Supporters Trust. “I think some think he’s been hard done by but it’s impossible to know what the situation is.”

对切尔西球迷来说,有关阿布拉莫维奇作为调停者的细节只会让他们更加困惑,不知道该如何看待这位身家亿万的寡头。“他在努力促成和平,这的确跟两三周前我们看到的情况有一点点不一样,”切尔西支持者基金成员蒂姆·罗尔斯说。“我估计有些人认为他是被冤枉了,但究竟是什么情况谁也不知道。”

What is not in doubt is the admiration for Mr. Abramovich that many Chelsea fans still have for the man who invested heavily in their team and took it to new heights.

可以肯定的是许多切尔斯球迷仍然对阿布拉莫维奇满怀敬仰,是他出重金投资,把他们的球队提升到了一个新高度。

“I think it’s impossible for a layman like me to know exactly how close he is to Vladimir Putin,” Mr. Rolls said. “For me and supporters it’s been tremendous. He’s taken us to the next level, to becoming one of the top six or top eight teams in Europe.”

“我认为像我这样一个外行不可能知道他跟弗拉基米尔·普京到底有多近,”罗尔斯说。“对我和支持者们来说,这很了不起。他把我们提高了一个档次,成了欧洲前六、前八的球队。”
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