Sanctions encourage Kremlin to be more aggressive: Khodorkovsky

3 December 2014 10:33
(QHA) -

Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has urged the EU to use economic sanctions to target officials involved in the Ukraine crisis and to not push ordinary Russians "away from Europe."

Khodorkovsky, speaking on December 2 at a European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, told lawmakers that Western sanctions are "encouraging the Kremlin to be more aggressive."

Khodorkovsky spent 10 years in prison for alleged tax evasion and embezzlement, charges that he and human rights groups say were politically motivated.

He was released one year ago and has lived in Western Europe since then.

Khodorkovsky said President Vladimir Putin's "regime" is "not eternal" and could stay in power for about one decade or a far shorter time depending on how the West handles Russia.

He added that although Moscow's annexation of Crimea was illegal, Europe must "look for a compromise" in its relations with Russia or face "a total war."