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Khodorkovsky’s Lunch with the FT

Mikhail Khodorkovsky appears in this weekend’s edition of the Financial Times interview series, “Lunch with the FT.”

Speaking with Russia correspondent Neil Buckley, Khodorkovsky describes the most difficult part of his ten years in prison, the drama surrounding his release one year ago, and the challenges faced by Russia today.

Khodorkovsky reiterated earlier comments pointing out that economic troubles alone will not bring change to Russia.

“Economic crisis won’t decide anything by itself, unless society understands that there’s an alternative,” he says to the FT. “And that’s what we’re trying to show people.”

If things continue to deteriorate, the Russian president could, says Khodorkovsky, be forced from power in various ways.

“We don’t know of a single authoritarian regime that is eternal, still less one that’s not based on any ideology. There’s the question of whether we’ll live to see this or not, but there’s a chance we will.” He laughs.

Khodorkovsky tells the FT that his programme aims to set Russia on the path to establishing a pravovoye gosudarstvo, a law-based state, or rule of law. There must be separation of powers, an independent judiciary, independent opposition and regular changes of power. If he became interim leader, he says, he would confine himself to conducting such reforms, then call free elections and stand down.

Read the full interview on the Financial Times.

Posted in Other Developments |

ECHR Upholds Yukos Ruling

An application from the Russian Federation application to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the court’s judgment on the Yukos case has beenrefused. July 2014 ruling stands – Russia must pay about 1.9 billion Euros to YUKOS Oil Company shareholders

  • An attempt by the Russian Federation to further delay paying about Euros 1.9 billion to YUKOS Oil Company (“YUKOS”) shareholders has been rejected.
  • Former YUKOS management seeks for Committee of Ministers and the Russian Federation to urgently agree a prompt procedure for payment to over 55,000 shareholders.

The former management of YUKOS today called on the Committee of Ministers of the European Union to work with them and the Russian Federation to ensure that shareholders of YUKOS, who lost their investments when the company was expropriated by the Russian Federation, will receive prompt, full payment.

The July judgment stipulated that the Russian Federation must, in co-operation with the Committee of Ministers, produce a comprehensive plan, including a binding time frame, for distribution of the award of just satisfaction within six months of the ruling becoming final.  Following the announcement today that the Russian Federation’s application for a referral of the Court’s ruling of 31 July 2014 to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) was rejected, that landmark judgment is final.  The enforcement of the payment process now rests with the Committee of Ministers.  It must ensure payment by Russia in the timescale demanded by the Court. There were over 55,000 YUKOS shareholders, including over 50,000 Russian shareholders, who reside across Europe, Asia, the US and Russia.

Read more on The Yukos Library website.

Posted in Case Updates |

OR Forum: “Will Russia Survive without Corruption?”

Many believe that corruption in Russia is not an evil, but rather a mode of existence of the economy and that any significant fight against corruption can destroy the work of the Russian economy. Is this true?

Open Russia’s online discussion “Will Russia survive without corruption?” will take place at 12:00 PM (Moscow time) on December 10, 2014.

Discussion participants – Georgy Satarov, Anton Pominov, Lyubov Sobol, Georgy Alburov, Dmitry Sukharev, and Ekaterina Petrova

Discussion moderator – Denis Kataev.

You can watch the live stream of the discussion (in Russian only) on www.openrussia.org.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Watch Khodorkovsky Address European Parliament

Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s address to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament can be viewed online here.

The event begins at 1500 hours Central European Time.

Posted in Uncategorized |

OSCE Calls on Russia to Stop Persecuting Civil Society Groups

Isabel Santos (MP, Portugal), who chairs the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly Human Rights Committee, is calling on the Russian government to halt its harassment of civil society organisations such as Memorial.

Santos said that the Russian authorities have a duty to ensure the ability of non-governmental organizations, including human rights group Memorial, to continue their important work and rescind restrictive regulations on their activities.

After being forced to change its charter to conform to strict new laws governing NGOs, Memorial announced it had submitted all the proper documentation to the Russian Ministry of Justice.

“In the short-term, I hope that this means an end to the harassment of Memorial. However, Russia must enact meaningful reform and remove the draconian legal framework which is limiting the space for civil society to work,” Santos said.

Read more on the OSCE website.

Posted in Other Developments |