On the first anniversary of Medvedev’s ascension to the post of Russian President, Marieluise Beck, MP, declares:
Russia’s President Medvedev began his time in office with a plea for more rule of law. After one year the balance is not good. Real improvements have yet to be seen in this area.
A prominent example is the second trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once a main shareholder in the Yukos company, along with his business partner Platon Lebedev. The trial is highly political. The charges are obviously fabricated. They are also in clear contradiction of the conviction in the first trail, which already seriously contravened the principles of the rule of law.
Medvedev cannot shrug off his responsibility for this case. His credibility is on the line. The EU must make that clear in all forms during the EU-Russia summit in two weeks. The persecution of regime critics and show trials against uncomfortable businessmen greatly damage Russia’s image and scare off investors. The country cannot afford for that to happen in times of economic crisis.