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MOSCOW, January 27. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. Former deputy chairman of the Russian oil company YUKOS board Platon Lebedev, who was released from prison ahead of time, is staying in Russia, but he wants to apply for a foreign travel passport soon. After that he is going to meet with ex-CEO of YUKOS Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of the previous year. Lebedev stated that he did not want to engage in “pure politics”.
After release from jail this figurant in the YUKOS affair stated that he was prepared not engage in, at least, political activity and stay in the West for some time, Novye Izvestia daily noted. Lebedev told media that he hopes to meet Khodorkovsky some day in mid- or late February in Germany.
Lebedev noted that he would like to engage in business, but noted meaningfully that he would hardly manage to quit political life in Russia at all. “In our country successful business is always politics...I am not interested in pure politics. In general, I believe that I will make a surprise to you some day in the future,” he said.
Expert of the Institute of Human Rights Lev Levinson cited by the daily noted that no legal obstacles exist to hamper Lebedev to go abroad. “Lebedev was freed by the court after he had served the full sentence, everything was lawful. As for a debt of 17 billion rubles ($496.2 million), which is claimed to him and Khodorkovsky, the obstacle for going abroad is evasion from paying the debt that should be found in the court. Lebedev could not have dodged from paying the debt, because he was released from prison just several days ago, and no court rulings were passed to this effect.”
Lebedev’s lawyer Vladimir Krasnov told Kommersant daily that his client should “adapt to the life at freedom again.”To Kommersant’s suggestion whether six months will be enough for this Krasnov stated that “everything will take place earlier and very quickly,” particularly because Lebedev is staying constantly “in his family and is meeting friends from the past life, who live now here in Russia.”
Platon Lebedev cannot leave Russia “for a simple reason that he does not have a foreign travel passport yet,” Krasnov said. Within next few days the former convict wants to file documents in the migration service at his residence place to process a foreign travel passport. “Let’s wait and see how specific authorities will respond to this step,” the lawyer said.
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