MOSCOW, December 23 /TASS/. Accusations against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Yukos oil company, are not politically motivated and are part of criminal prosecution, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists when asked to comment Khdorokovsy’s words that he was posing a political and economic threat to the Russian authorities.
According to Peskov, the accusations are not the result of "Putin’s fears". "Khodorkovsky is being suspected of complicity to a crime," he said.
"The charges which our investigative bodies have brought against [the oligarch] this time have got nothing to do with his economic activities. He is suspected of complicity to murder. In short, it’s just a criminal affair," the Kremlin spokesman concluded.
Khodorkovsky predicted a regime change in Russia in the next ten years. In this connection, Putin’s press secretary remembered that presidential elections in Russia tended to have a certain cycle. "The next presidential elections will take place in three years; then in nine years and finally in 15 years. This is a cycle. But it’s not a regime, it’s presidential elections," Peskov stressed.