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Russian President Vladimir Putin says "no one threatened" prominent economist Sergei Guriyev, who fled Russia in April.

At a press conference after a summit with EU leaders in Yekaterinburg, Putin said, "If [Guriyev] wants to come back, let him come back."

Guriyev, a liberal economist who has advised the government, acknowledged last week that he fled Russia after what he described as threatening questioning by state investigators.

"It is safer for me to be a free person and not to return," Guriyev said on June 4.

Guriyev joined his family in Paris after officers from Russia's Investigative Committee questioned him in connection with the case against Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The conviction and jailing of the former oil magnate since 2003 for various economic crimes is widely seen as politically motivated.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and Interfax
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