Reuters: Billionaire Roman Abramovich is not an official member of the Russian team at the talks with Ukraine, but is present at the talks in Turkey to "ensure certain contacts" between the two sides, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Abramovich, who is under Western sanctions over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine because of his ties to President Vladimir Putin, attended the first direct peace talks in Istanbul in more than two weeks on Tuesday.

"Roman Abramovich is engaged in ensuring certain contacts between the Russian and Ukrainian sides," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a conference call.

"He is not an official member of the delegation... but nevertheless, he is also present in Istanbul today from our side," he said.

"In order to make contacts between the two sides, you need to get approval from both sides, and in the case of Abramovich, there is approval from both sides," he added.

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