Khodorkovsky Interview with Bloomberg: ‘Tide is Turning against Putin’

December 12, 2014

Thanks to enduring low oil prices, sanctions, and international isolation relating to the conflict in Ukraine, the tide may be turning against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in an exclusive television interview with Bloomberg.

“Putin has far less room to maneuver financially, which creates difficulties for him, and as a result the cost of any mistakes he may make could be critical,” Khodorkovsky said. “For Putin, even $120 a barrel for oil is a problem because, with his system of rule, he can’t survive without the revenue from raw materials growing every year.”

At the same time, Khodorkovsky warns, the current regime will not likely be toppled simply because of mistakes in managing the economy – it will take something more, like a “black swan event.”

There’s at least a 50 percent chance that Putin won’t last the next decade, says Khodorkovsky, who pins his hope on a coup by the Russian leader’s inner circle because in his view elections won’t bring about any transfer of power.

“I believe that the problem for Putin will come from within his own entourage,” he told Bloomberg yesterday. “For my country, it would be better if things happened this way than through clashes on the streets, as a palace coup would spill less blood.”

Watch the full video of the interview below: