Speaking at a conference hosted by Sciences Po in Paris, France, Mikhail Khodorkovsky put forward his vision for a democratic Russia, emphasising the importance of embracing civil society, an independent judicial system, and separation of powers.
According to a summary of the event posted on the Sciences Po website, Khodorkovsky argued that Russia would have no other choice but to turn towards Europe in order to develop. He insisted on the urgency of replacing “the archaic governance system” which traps Russians in arbitrariness and ineffectiveness, and pushes the country’s finest into exile. He also lashed out against the Kremlin’s policies which create conflict with neighbors and rely on false propaganda to convince the population that only the current regime can protect the country against external “threats.”
Khodorkovsky emphasized the importance of balancing the political system, by ensuring that parliament, judiciary, local and regional governmental institutions against the powers of the presidency.
Read more about the event at Sciences Po.
Open Russia’s online forum “Political prisoners 2.0: are there any legal ways to disagree?” (in Russian) will take place at 12:00 PM (Moscow time) on October 29, 2014 – the eve of the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions in Russia. You can participate by joining the event and asking the forum expert guests questions on Facebook here.
Unfortunately there will be no simultaneous English translation – the event will be broadcast in Russian only.
Today Mikhail Khodorkovsky is participating in one of the panels of the Forum 2000 conference in Prague titled “Russia: A Non-Democratic Power on the World Stage?” along with Petr Kolář, Former Ambassador to Russia, Czech Republic, Vytautas Landsbergis, Former Head of State, Lithuania, Andrey Zubov, Historian, Russia, and Daniel Baer, Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, USA.
This link for the live feed can be found below. Click here to read Khodorkovsky’s speech during the opening of the conference.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky is scheduled to appear at the upcoming Prague Forum 2000 Conference this evening, titled “Democracy and Its Discontents: A Quarter-Century After the Iron Curtain and Tiananmen.”
“During the Velvet Revolution people used to jingle keys to show that previously locked doors were opening,” says Mikhail Khodorkovsky in regard to his participation in this year’s Forum 2000. “Almost exactly 25 years after those events it is time to evaluate the state of democracy, see how open those doors are and ask which doors in post-communist Europe still need the keys to democracy.”
This year’s conference offers a critical reflection on the period of democratic transformations over the past few decades and naturally the current situation in the Middle East, Venezuela, Ukraine, and Russia will also not be neglected.
“We are really delighted that in this context we have managed to get many important people for the panel debates, including the founder of the Open Russia Foundation Mikhail Khodorkovsky,” says the Executive Director of Forum 2000 Jakub Klepal. “Besides his appearance, with respect to Putin’s Russia, it will undoubtedly be interesting for conference visitors to hear the opinions of the Editor in Chief of the Russian opposition daily Dmitry Muratov, the Russian opposition politician Grigory Yavlinsky, and the former Czech Ambassador to Russia Petr Kolář. One of the most important themes of this year’s conference, which brings together the subject of growing extremism in Europe and the increasingly aggressive behavior of Vladimir Putin, will also be a series of events on the subject of links between the Kremlin and Europe’s extreme right parties. Besides Prague, one of these debates will also take place in cooperation with our Hungarian partners in Budapest.”
The live stream of the conference is below: