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Khodorkovsky Lawyer Says Putin Fails To Recognize Russia’s True Detractors

PRESS RELEASE – PRNewswire: Khodorkovsky Lawyer Says Putin Fails To Recognize Russia’s True Detractors — LONDON, UK – February 1 – Following President Vladimir Putin’s extensive comments to the international media today regarding “unfair” suspicions toward Russia and the denial of his administration’s use of energy as a political weapon, Robert Amsterdam, lawyer for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, issued the following comments: “President Putin’s contention that Russia is innocently putting an end to energy subsidies and does not use its oil and gas as political tools is wholly implausible. Prices are going up everywhere except for Russia, where he is using energy rents to subsidize a broken system, consolidating power and imprisoning those who stand in the way. If energy were truly not a political weapon for Russia, than Gazprom would no longer be the sole exporter of gas to Europe,” Amsterdam said. Amsterdam has long argued that Russia’s policies seek to turn Europe into an “energy hostage,” subject to the objectives of a foreign power. In an article published today in the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung, Amsterdam argued that former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has accepted enormous personal gain to play an instrumental role in the compromising of Europe’s energy security. “President Putin should not be attacking those who create so-called false impressions in the foreign press, when at the same time he is attacking what’s left of Russia’s free press and civil society, who attempt to portray the reality of Russia from inside,” he said. “If the president really wants to fight back against those who wish Russia ill, he must start by recognizing who the country’s true detractors are.” “Instead of pouring $11 million into public relations for Gazprom, let him spend this money on finding the real killers of Anna Politkovskaya and others who fight for freedom in Russia,” Amsterdam said. “Let him use these resources to track down those who smear the name of Russia by using radioactive poison on the streets of Russia. Let him investigate those corrupt individuals within the procuracy who at this very moment are preparing new, invented charges against Mikhail Khodorkovsky designed to prevent his parole before elections. No matter how much President Putin and his advisors spend on public relations, so long as he refuses to recognize that the system is broken there will always be a deficit of those who believe him.” Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Peroff, is international counsel to the political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He writes a blog at www.robertamsterdam.com.