Q 1. Why do you think you have been listed among the most dangerous criminals?
A.: As I have been saying in my previous interviews, in reality, government financial assistance was provided to the VTB Group, which had taken over the Bank of Moscow, not to the Bank of Moscow itself. The Bank of Moscow was in a good financial condition and did not need financial rehabilitation. Serious buyers, independent from the state, had been interested in buying a stake in the bank. But the special operation of its takeover implied a distortion of the real state of affairs, for the VTB raiders to be able to pocket not only the fifth-largest bank, but also 295 billion of government assistance free of charge. Do you think VTB wants to recognize that publicly? And if it does not, then it needs a covering operation: the bank was allegedly embezzled and the principal villains were my colleagues and partners and I.
VTB representatives act proceeding from the assumption that somebody has to be held accountable for the government money taken; if they recognize everything and accept the assets at their just value, then they will have police interrogations in store for them. And self comes first.
Q 2. How do you assess your risks?
A.: An ultimate-fighting professional is against me; therefore I will not assess my risks. I will continue making a stand for my being right and restoring my good name in Russia and beyond by using all legal methods. I pin my hopes on objectivity of real justice but do not expect legal victories in my homeland.
Q 3. Do you notice any activity of law-enforcement agencies concerning you personally?
A.: I notice a coordinated attack on all fronts, characteristic of politically motivated cases, which have become commonplace in Russia. There is pressure by means of the press and law-enforcement agencies; problems are being created for my former employees and even for the charitable foundation of my wife.
Q 4. Are you expecting attempts at extradition?
A.: The General Prosecutor’s Office officially stated that it requested my extradition back in the spring. Therefore, such an attempt has already been made.
Q 5. What do you intend to do in connexion with the red corner?
A.: As is known, Russian Interpol loves to include “especially dangerous criminals” like me in stop lists. This has been tried out in many high-profile cases before me, and I think it will continue further. If a person who is on such a stop list crosses the border of a member state, he is automatically detained, documents from the source country are requested and then, depending on the quality of those documents, he is either released of handed over to his persecutors.
I do not intend to change anything in the way of life that I have become accustomed to after my move to the UK. Naturally, I will continue to contest all aspects of my unlawful persecution as prescribed by law.
Q 6. Is there a final decision on granting you political asylum?
A.: All reports that have been in the press on this matter with the aid of my opponents are in principle at odds with the real state of affairs.