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Berezovsky renews his calls for power change in Russia - paper

RIA Novosti | August 26, 2007

GLONDON, August 26 (RIA Novosti) - Fugitive oligarch Boris Berezovsky renewed his calls for power change in Russia in an interview with a British paper published Sunday.

"Putin's regime is authoritarian. Under the current system, free elections are impossible. Only pressure on the Kremlin will make it possible to re-establish a constitutional form of government," The Sunday Times quoted Berezovsky as saying.

Russia has been seeking the extradition of Berezovsky, who lives in London as a political emigre, since 2002 on charges of money laundering, fraud, and plotting a coup in Russia. However, Moscow's repeated demands for the extradition of the fugitive oligarch have so far been refused.

In an online interview with The Guardian on April 13 Berezovsky announced plans to overthrow President Vladimir Putin by force. However, Britain's Crown Prosecution Service refused to open a criminal case against the exiled tycoon on Moscow's demand, saying he was rather calling for civil disobedience, and, therefore could not be stripped of his refugee status granted in 2001, which would mean his extradition to Russia.

In January 2006, Berezovsky told Russia's Ekho Moskvy radio station that he was "working" to stage a coup in the country.

This time, Berezovsky quoted John Locke, an English philosopher, as saying: "If a government violates the law, overthrowing it is not just a right, but an obligation of responsible members of society."

Berezovsky told The Sunday Times that the philosopher's words applied to the current situation in Russia.

"I am calling for deliberate pressure aimed at reinstating a form of government that would correspond to the letter and the spirit of the Russian Federation constitution," the paper quoted him as saying.

Relations between Russia and Britain have been strained following the death of Alexander Litvinenko, an FSB defector and outspoken Kremlin critic, from poisoning in London last November.

 

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