A majority of Russia's political analysts believe that the Yukos case and, most notably, the arrest of this oil giant's chief executive, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, will not have much impact on the outcome of the next parliamentary elections, one month away.
A panel discussion held in the Russian capital Wednesday was centered precisely around the Yukos case's political implications. As Moscow-based analyst Andranik Migranyan sees it, Khodorkovsky's detention will have only a negligible effect on the upcoming election campaign. Yet, the liberal parties Yabloko and Union of Right Forces, as well as the Communist Party, may incur some losses, financial or otherwise, owing to the tycoon's apprehension, he argues.
Not likely, says Vyacheslav Nikonov, another high-profile political analyst. Yukos has already allocated funds for these parties' election campaigns, he explains.
But as fellow analyst Alexander Tsipko holds, there is no point trying to predict the Yukos case's impact on the vote until the court hands down its verdict.