Mikhail Khodorkovsky: We Have To Stop The Export Of Corruption From Russia

May 21, 2018

As the United Kingdom takes up a tough stance against “dirty money” from Russia, Open Russia founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky lays out the importance of hitting the right targets, and serving the real interest of both the United Kingdom and Russia.  To read more about how to fight the Kremlin Mafia, read Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. 

The British Government has finally decided to pay close attention to the issue of “dirty money” from Russia.  Better late than never, as they say, but it’s a pity that it took such tragic events as the use of a military grade chemical weapon in the centre of a British city to provoke a serious reaction.

At the same time, in my opinion the British Parliament is not taking entirely the right approach to the discussion in calling this dirty money “Russian”.  The real danger comes from the money controlled by the criminal group that is occupying the Kremlin.  Tens of thousands of our Russian compatriots live in Britain, and come from various social classes.  Of these people, those with connections to Kremlin money are numbered in the hundreds.

It’s vital to draw a very clear distinction between the Russian people — including businessmen, wealthy people and the majority of the bureaucracy — and a small group of core beneficiaries of the Putin regime.  The group of organised criminals in the Kremlin — with whom it is necessary to fight — is made up of a few dozen people, and a few thousand of their subordinates.  These are the people who have usurped power in Russia and receive a constant source of income as a result.

This group has two goals: enrichment and avoidance of responsibility.  In order to achieve these goals, these people must at all costs hold on to the power they have acquired; the power of the presidency.  In order to secure their capital and carry out activities abroad aimed at preserving their hold on power, this criminal group utilises Western countries, in particular Britain.

This is the very same dirty money that Western governments have to fight against.  The United Kingdom has to fight in order to prevent the export of corruption from Russia, and to avoid the destructive influence it has in their internal affairs, but we must also fight it because it is money stolen from society, and because it is precisely through this stolen money that the Putin regime is holding on to power.

Since this is a group of organised criminals we are talking about, it is necessary to employ the right police methods in order to fight it: identify the participants and their roles, to investigate and assess the crimes, as well as to search for stolen goods.  This is what we are doing within the framework of our “Dossier” project.

If the British government and society decide to take this path, it will be in the interests of Russia too.  In the real interest of Russia.

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