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Former Russian Oligarch Khodorkovsky Granted Swiss Residency

Mikhail Khodorkovsky in Kyiv in early March
Mikhail Khodorkovsky in Kyiv in early March
Switzerland has granted former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky a one-year residency permit.

Swiss Migration Office spokesman Martin Reichlin said on March 30 that the permit was granted for Khodorkovsky, a fierce critic of the Kremlin, on March 27 and can be renewed.

Khodorkovsky, 50, has been living in Switzerland since shortly after being pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin and released from prison in Russia on December 20.

He had served more than a decade in jail for fraud and money laundering.

Reichlin said that although Khodorkovsky is not planning on working in Switzerland, residency can be granted for "the public interest."

The St. Gallen Canton justified the permit by citing the tax revenue it expects to gain from Khodorkovsky residing there, Reichlin said.

Switzerland last week put sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian officials because of Russia's takeover of Crimea.
Based on reporting by AFP, "NZZ am Sonntag," and "The Wall St. Journal"

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