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Russia's Lavrov urges West to be 'pragmatic' over Khodorkovsky case

© RIA Novosti . Alexei Kudenko / Go to the photo bankRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov - Sputnik International
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Moscow believes its Western partners should be pragmatic rather than emotional over ex-oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's case, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

Moscow believes its Western partners should be pragmatic rather than emotional over ex-oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's case, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

In late December, Moscow's Khamovniki District Court sentenced Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev to a total of 14 years in prison in a second trial involving Yukos assets. Both businessmen have repeatedly denied the charges, saying they were politically motivated.

"I believe in the majority of states that are Russia's partners, people are pragmatic, able to sort the wheat from the chaff. They treat carefully every issue on the agenda," Lavrov said at an annual 2010 summary news conference.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament moved to impose economic sanctions and travel restrictions on Russian officials involved in Khodorkovsky's trial and conviction.

Many Western countries and organizations, including the United States and the European Union, have condemned the verdict as harsh and unfair, and expressed concern over the fact that the judicial system in Russia has shown no signs of improvement despite President Dmitry Medvedev's pledge to make it just and transparent.

MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti) 

 

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