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Khodorkovsky Calls Navalny, An Ally For 'Medium Term'

Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has described prominent Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny as his "ally for the medium term."

Speaking to Voice of America on February 3, Khodorkovsky said he and Navalny currently share major goals, such as working to ensure fair elections in Russia and bringing an end to Russian President Vladimir Putin's longtime rule through democratic means.

Khodorkovsky said he would discuss "all other issues" with Navalny "after fair elections."

Khodorkovsky also said a protest march scheduled for March 1 in Moscow by opposition groups was necessary.

He said the demonstration would be one of the few "remaining ways to express an alternative opinion regarding ongoing processes in Russia," including what he described as Moscow's "military adventure in Ukraine."

Khodorkovsky was a signatory of a letter informing the Moscow mayor's office about the protest.

Khodorkovsky spent 10 years in prison on financial-crime charges that he and human rights groups say were politically motivated.

He has lived in the Europe Union since he was pardoned by Putin and released from jail in December 2013.

Based on reporting by VOA