Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former tycoon who spent a decade in jail for defying the Russian government, has openly stated his new political ambitions by announcing that, should he be called on, he is willing to lead the Russian people in this time of great crisis.
“I would not be interested in the idea of becoming president of Russia at a time when the country would be developing normally,” he was quoted as saying by Le Monde newspaper. “But if it appeared necessary to overcome the crisis and to carry out constitutional reform, the essence of which would be to redistribute presidential powers in favor of the judiciary, parliament and civil society, then I would be ready to take on this part of the task.”
These comments were made after Mr. Khodorkovsky launched a new political movement online to unite pro-European Russians in an attempt to challenge President Vladimir Putin’s increasingly tight drip on power. The remarks, which were made at a ceremony in Paris, appear to mark the first time the former tycoon has voiced a willingness to take on Russia’s highest position, should he be called on to do so.
Mr. Khodorkovsky was unexpectedly released from prison late last year and went into a self-imposed exile in Switzerland to protest the Putin-led Russian government. He previously asserted that he intended to stay out of politics, a position which is in stark contrast to his most recent comments.
Read more about the story at The Guardian.