GENEVA, January 05, 23:40 /ITAR-TASS/. Former Russian oil industry tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has arrived in Switzerland, a spokeswoman for the Swiss public relations agency Creafactory told Itar-Tass.
“I’d like to confirm that Khodorkovsky arrived by train in Basel,” she said. “The goal of the visit is a private one - his wife and he are taking their two sons back to school.”
The spokeswoman declined to clarify where Khodorkovsky planned going afterwards.
Staff-members of the English-language version of the web site of the press center representing Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his former business partners Platon Lebedev confirmed the information to Itar-Tass in Berlin.
A message posted on the website said Khodorkovsky had arrived in Switzerland from Berlin and the visit was motivated by private considerations of the family. It also said Khodorkovsky and members of his family were grateful to the Swiss authorities for the opportunity to come there.
The website said Khorodorkovsky did not have any detailed plans regarding the duration of his stay in Switzerland or anywhere else.
December 30, the Swiss authorities issued a visa to Khodorvkosky making it possible to enter Switzerland and other countries of the Schengen area. He applied for it while in Berlin December 24.
Khodorkovsky was taken to Berlin from Russia by a private jet provided by a German businessman upon request from Germany’s former Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Henscher. Well-informed sources indicate the latter man played an important role in Russia’s decision to pardon the former CEO of the oil corporation YUKOS.
Khodorkovsky told a news conference in Berlin December 22 that he was not going to return to business or to engage in politics.