• 3 hours LNG Glut To Continue Into 2020s, IEA Says
  • 5 hours Oil Nears $52 With Record OPEC Deal Compliance
  • 8 hours Saudi Aramco CEO Affirms IPO On Track For H2 2018
  • 10 hours Canadia Ltd. Returns To Sudan For First Time Since Oil Price Crash
  • 11 hours Syrian Rebel Group Takes Over Oil Field From IS
  • 3 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 3 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 3 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 3 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 3 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 3 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 3 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 3 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 3 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 3 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 4 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 4 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 4 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 4 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 4 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 4 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 4 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 5 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 5 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 5 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 5 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 5 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 5 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 6 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 6 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 6 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 6 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 6 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 6 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 6 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 6 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 6 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 7 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls

Breaking News:

LNG Glut To Continue Into 2020s, IEA Says

LNG Becomes A Buyer’s Market

LNG Becomes A Buyer’s Market

A continuous growing supply of…

Russia Goes All In On Arctic Oil Development

Russia Goes All In On Arctic Oil Development

Fighting sanctions and low oil…

What does Putin Hope to Gain by Releasing Khodorkovsky?

What does Putin Hope to Gain by Releasing Khodorkovsky?

On Thursday, in a move that surprised many Russian businessmen, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he was considering offering a pardon to the former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky; on Friday morning the pardon was signed and Khodorkovsky walked free.

It is believed that this decision by Putin is intended to reduce the criticism being levelled at the country as international attention has turned to Russia, and its questionable human rights violations, ahead of the Sochi Olympics (the Winter Games), set to begin next February. By releasing the former oligarch, Moscow hopes to be seen as a more compassionate power.

Khodorkovsky was once the richest man in Russia, and the former Chairman and CEO of the Yukos oil company, but after supporting opposition political parties the Russian government began a campaign against the company that froze many of its assets, made new tax claims, and eventually saw it bankrupted in 2006. During the campaign Khodorkovsky was imprisoned on charges of fraud and tax evasion. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe declared that the campaign against Yukos and Khodorkovsky was politically motivated and violated human rights.

Related article: Japanese Optimistic on Putin’s Intentions to Develop Siberia

Khodorkovsky has always claimed that he would not request a pardon as that would imply he had been guilty in the first place, however Putin has now claimed that he recently received a request signed by Khodorkovsky claiming that “he has already spent 10 years behind bars – it's a serious punishment. He mentions humanitarian considerations, as his mother is ill. Given all this, the correct decision should be taken and a decree on his pardoning will be signed very soon.”

Edward Mermelstein, a lawyer who advises on cross-border investments in Russia, explained to CNBC that Khodorkovsky “has not kept quiet while in prison. He will not change post release. This is an obvious liability for Putin, but one that has been calculated to benefit him in the short term.”

Other than creating a more favourable international image ahead of the Sochi Olympics, it is likely that Putin released Khodorkovsky in order to gain political support and placate the Russian business community ahead of new economic regulations and reforms that are expected next year. Russia’s tax structure has always made it very lucrative for its wealthy citizens to invest outside of the country, but Putin is looking to change this and threatens to close any banking institution that doesn’t conform to these new regulations, a move that will undoubtedly anger a lot of rich business with political influence.

Now that he is free it is possible that Khodorkovsky will use the opportunity to speak out and explain how Russia, and other countries, may be manipulating financial systems. The potential for him to divulge state secrets and schemes has even drawn some to compare him with Edward Snowden.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News