Putin's confrontation with the West is absolutely artificial : Mikhail Khodorksovsky

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Yusuf, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin's confrontation with the West is "artificial" and aimed at protecting Russia's ruling elite and distracting attention from a corrupt system, a former Russian oil tycoon said on Wednesday.

    "The current confrontation with the West is absolutely artificial," Mikhail Khodorksovsky told the Atlantic Council think tank.

    "The cooling of relations has been inspired by those Russian elites who want to hold on to power."

    Speaking through a translator, Khodorksovsky, once Russia's richest man, said, "They desperately need an image of an enemy who would distract the attention of the populace from the corruption and inefficiency that exists in the power."

    Khodorkovsky's empire, which included now defunct Russian oil company Yukos, produced more crude than Qatar before he ran afoul of Putin and was jailed for fraud and tax evasion. Putin pardoned him in December 2013.

    Khodorkovsky, one of Putin's most outspoken critics, lives in Switzerland.

    "Unfortunately, there can be no talk of any new strategic rapprochement while Putin remains in power," Khodorkovsky said.

    "In Russia such a system has been built under which any decision can be suddenly changed at the whim of one person, who is not controlled by any internal political mechanisms," he said.

    Asked whether he would run for president of Russia, Khodorkovsky replied, "I don't want to waste questions that have no practical value right now."

    But, he said, "sooner or later" a power change would occur in Russia and the West should be prepared to help Russia quickly reintegrate into the global system.

    That could happen by making Russia a member of NATO and the European Union.

    Khodorkovsky said it would be in Putin's interest to "freeze" the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    He cautioned Washington over sending weapons to Ukraine, and said most Russians already believed the conflict there was between Russia and the United States.

    "This situation is going to keep on developing in this direction if arms start being shipped to Ukraine," he said.

    "Then you have the question whether the United States is ready to step into the conflict and to win because if it is not ready for that this will be interpreted as America having lost."
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  3. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

    Jul 29, 2014
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    I doubt Russia getting to EU. The corruption is so deep in the DNA of the system. It was there under Czar and under communism. That was also the reason Putin could create this Kleptocratic system and the reason why people accept it.

    Russia needs total cleansing, like Germany after Hitler. That can only come from outside and at the same time cannot come from outside because rulers do not want it and Russia is too big for outside forced intervention.

    I have a bleak vision for their future, looks like they have chosen their path which leads towards stagnation and gap with developed countries widening.
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