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Khodorkovsky says glad over Putin’s decision to pardon him

December 22, 2013, 18:07 UTC+3 BERLIN
Khodorkovsky said he was not going to finance political opposition forces in Russia
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© ITAR-TASS/Mitya Aleshkovskiy

BERLIN, December 22, 15:51 /ITAR-TASS/. Former CEO of the Russian oil corporation YUKOS, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said at a news conference behind closed doors in Berlin Sunday he was glad over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to pardon him.

Along with it, he said he does not find himself to be guilty of anything.

“The authorities have always wanted me to recognized guilt on my part but this demand has always been unacceptable for me,” Khodorkovsky told a selected group of newsmen who had spoken out in support of him previously. He stressed once again the absence of any admission of guilt on his part in the petition for pardoning he had submitted to the presidential office.

Khodorkovsky about the role of media attention

Khodorkovsky said on Sunday that media attention had had its role in his release. “My main aim is to express gratitude. I understand perfectly well that if it had not been for efforts of very many people in our country and all over the world, I would not have been here,” he said at a news conference.

“My release became possible thanks in no small part to mass media. Mass media lets very many people who are in Russian prisons unjustly to stay alive, keep up health and hope for the release,” he said.

About future plans

Khodorkovsky told a selected group of reporters here Sunday that he did not know in practical terms his current financial capability. He said along with it that he would not be purchasing football clubs but he had enough money for a living. “I don’t actually know my financial capability at present but I have enough money to make a living,” he told ‘soul-mate’ reporters who supported him when he was in imprisonment. He also said he would return to Russia if he got the confidence that he would be able to leave its territory for trips abroad. Khodorkovsky confirmed that the authorities did not put forward recognition of guilt as a precondition for his release from jail.

I won’t engage in politics if you view it from the angle of struggle for power but I’ll take up some other types of activity like the release of political convicts Mikhail Khodorkovsky Former CEO of the Russian oil corporation YUKOS “I wrote in my paper /a petition for pardon that he sent to President Vladimir Putin - Itar-Tass/ a few things that I had mentioned on a number of occasions previously, namely, the absence of any plans on my part to engage in political activity or to claim back the assets once owned YUKOS,” he said.“I won’t engage in politics if you view it from the angle of struggle for power but I’ll take up some other types of activity like the release of political convicts,” he said. Khodorkovsky said he was not going to finance political opposition forces in Russia. “This might be dangerous for the opposition itself, in the first place,” he indicated, adding he would be upset if he were perceived as a sponsor of the opposition, as the opposition had been sponsored by YUKOS.

Khodorkovsky confirmed at a news conference in Berlin on Sunday that he would fight for rights of political prisoners in Russia.

About possible reason for Putin’s decision to free Khodorkovsky

He indicated that he was glad over Vladimir Putin’s decision to pardon him but along with it he did not find himself to be guilty of anything.

I must note that the situation has never affected my family. The attitude to my family has always been loyal, and because of that I have not taken the standoff too emotionally. I put the issue of relations (with President Putin) on a pragmatic plane, which does not envisage revenge and hatred Mikhail Khodorkovsky “The authorities have always wanted me to recognized guilt on my part but this demand has always been unacceptable for me,” Khodorkovsky told a selected group of newsmen who had spoken out in support of him previously. He said the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi was obviously a possible reason for Putin’s decision to free him. “The Olympiad was one of the factors and the Group of Eight was, too,” Khodorkovsy said.

Khodorkovsky currently stays at the five-star Hotel Adlon in central Berlin. He declined to answer the question where he was planning to live in the future, saying he had not discussed it with his family yet. Khodorkovsky said that having a one-year German visa he would stay in Germany for the moment. He said he was not planning to go to Russia before he got guarantees that he would be able to leave it once again.

 

 

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