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Saturday 20.01.2018 | Name days: Aļģirds, Orests, Oļģerts, Alģis

Khodorkovsky: Putin uses Latvia to maintain power

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUFormer Russian tycoon and political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky believes Russia’s President Vladimir Putin uses Latvia to maintain power in Russia. He believes, Putin tries to use patriotic policy to influence Latvia’s internal politics.

«Everything Putin does is aimed at one goal – preservation of power in Russia. The economic situation is unfavourable, the quality of state administration is low, and it is necessary to distract the public with external conflicts. Vladimir Putin is looking for a point of conflict. One of them is in Baltic States,» – Khodorkovsky said in an interview to De Facto of LTV.

He believes democratic Russia can potentially form mutually beneficial relations with the European Union and even secure free movement of goods and labour force: «Differences will remain, but people will be able to visit each other, freely move capital and choose places of residence. I hope it will happen in our lifetime».

One week ago, Khodorkovsky founded national movement Open Russia. He hopes to involve Russian citizens living in other countries in the planning of the future for democratic Russia. He claims he does not intend to fight the current regime. Instead, he intends to wait for Putin to step down.

«I think Putin understands the piling problems and that the crisis in our country is systemic – it cannot be resolved with small changes. He’s looking for a way out. But after 2018 he will realize that the only solution is the dismantling of the current regime. But he cannot afford to do that on his own. I’m counting on Putin’s forethought. Other, less pleasant scenarios for the change of regime also exist, but we hope everything will progress smoothly,» – Khodorkovsky said in his interview.

In his interview to LTV, Khodorkovsky admitted not wanting to see Putin on the accused bench. In the event the Russian president is offered amnesty, Putin would quietly step down and not order others to defend his rule with weapons in hand. Khodorkovsky believes Putin fears him. The former tycoon is certain that his movement could demonstrate to Russian citizens that state administration is possible in a democratic way.

Khodorkovsky does not exclude the possibility that the Russian government would want to get rid of him. «We are aware that many people who opposed our current regime died a violent death. Anna Politkovskaya, Natalya Estemirova, Boris Nemtsov, Galina Starovoitova,» – said Khodorkovsy.

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