Moscow: Top Russian opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Wednesday said he might apply for political asylum in Britain after Moscow issued an international warrant for his arrest.
Khodorkovsky, once Russia`s richest man but later imprisoned for 10 years after falling foul of President Vladimir Putin, told the BBC the Russian leader still saw him as a threat.
“Definitely I`m considering asking for asylum in the UK,” said the Kremlin critic, who already spends much of his time in London.
“I`m considered by President Putin as a threat, economically, because of the possible seizure of Russian assets abroad, and politically, as someone who will potentially help democratic candidates in the coming 2016 elections.”
Russian investigators earlier this month charged Khodorkovsky, a 52-year-old former oil tycoon, in absentia with organising the 1998 murder of a mayor in Siberia.
He was also charged with the attempted murders of two other people.
Several Kremlin critics have died under mysterious circumstances in recent years, including in London, where ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko was killed by poisoning, but Khodorkovsky dismissed assassination fears.
“The history of deaths of opponents of this regime is impressive… but I was in jail for 10 years, I could have been killed any day easily. In London I feel much safer than during those years,” he said.