Lunch with the FT

December 19, 2014

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.