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Deputy minister Andrei Klepach hopes Khodorkovsky’s pardoning will improve Russia’s image

December 20, 2013, 2:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier in the day, Vladimir Putin said he would grant pardon to Khodorkovsky

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© AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev

MOSCOW, December 19, 23:58 /ITAR-TASS/. Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrei Klepach said he was hopeful that the pardoning of former YUKOS CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky would help improve the investment image of Russia.

“We will hope that this will have a positive effect,” he said on Thursday, December 19.

Earlier in the day, President Vladimir Putin said he would grant pardon to Khodorkovsky.

“The law requires Mikhail Borisovich [Khodorkovsky] to file the relevant petition for pardon. He did not do that before. But he wrote it lately and submitted a petition for pardon to me,” Putin said.

“He has been in prison for more than ten years and this is serious punishment,” the head of state said, adding that Khodorkovsky was referring to humanitarian reasons - “his mother is sick.”

“I believe that given all the circumstances … I will sign a decree to pardon him shortly,” Putin said.

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