Mikhail Khodorkovsky Applies for Swiss Visa


Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has applied for a Swiss visa less than a week after being released from decade-long imprisonment in Russia, officials said Tuesday.

Khodorkovsky submitted the request for a three-month visa at the Swiss Embassy in Berlin, Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Stefan von Below said.

Khodorkovsky’s sons go to school in Switzerland and he has business ties there. But spokesman Christian Hanne denied the Swiss visa request was an indication of where the 50-year-old planned to settle.

“He wants to travel to Switzerland early in the new year to see the place where his sons go to school,” Hanne told The Associated Press. “But there’s no decision yet about a permanent home.”

There has been speculation about Khodorkovsky’s next move since he flew to Berlin on Friday, hours after being pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Germany has given him a one-year visa.

Russia’s pardon of Khodorkovsky and the expected release of 30 Greenpeace activists detained since September are seen as the Kremlin’s attempts to soothe criticism of the country’s human rights record before the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

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