The hearing on the Yukos case in the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe is to become another attack on Russia
On Wednesday the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe is planned to receive a briefing regarding the political and business implications of the prosecution and imprisonment of Russian Yukos Oil Chairman and CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The only speaker on the subject will be Leonid Nevzlin, a sole owner of Yukos at the moment, who is wanted by the Russian Prosecutor's Office on charges ranging from tax evasion and theft of assets to murder and who therefore found it more secure to move to Israel.
After leaving for Israel Nevzlin soon switched into the offensive for "the course of democracy." He gave a few interviews to the Russian media, in which he promised to buck the Kremlin right till the end. According to him, estimated cost of the revolution in Russia would be $2 million.
No doubt, Nevzlin, being the only speaker for the Yukos trial, can impress the listeners.
Russia is concerned with the fact that hearing would become one-sided and biased as it had been happening in the West for the whole time of the Yukos trial. At the same time, a Russia's Foreign Office spokesman had to remind that Nevzlin is wanted by the Interpol, refusing to give further commentaries.
Therefore, Chairman of Russia's Council of Federation Foreign Affairs Committee Mikhail Margelov wrote an appeal to Senator Samuel Brownback, Chairman of the Helsinki Commission. As the appeal runs, "there are many political and public persons in Russia who could provide the objectivity of the Commission's meeting" and give full information on the trial. The persons mentioned above "have large experience in participation" in various international organizations as well as in working with U.S. senators and congressmen.
In particular, Margelov offered his services, suggesting that parties should return to an unbiased discussion of the issues concerning the Yukos case.
In an interview with PRAVDA.Ru Mikhail Margelov called it "rather strange that a person wanted by the Interpol on the allegations of murder is practically given the status of a political dissident."
It should be noted that this is not the first time when the Yukos case is used as an occasion for attacks against Russia. Shareholders of the Russian oil company Mikhail Brudno and Vladimir Dubov, who are on the Interpol wanted list, had an opportunity to meet US President Bush in February. Yukos representatives appeared before the U.S. Senate. As a result, US senators demanded that non-democratic Russia could no longer be part of G-8 and could not be allowed to the WTO.
Neither U.S. nor Israel has taken any measures yet to extradite the criminals.
PRAVDA.Ru will continue to monitor the situation.
Full text of Mikhail Margelov's letter to U.S. Senator Samuel Brownback:
Dear Senator Brownback,
We respect you and your work in the United States Senate as the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Helsinki Commission and also your humanitarian and international public work. You can be regarded as an unbiased fighter for justice and progress.
As we have learnt, on the 13th of July the Commission for Security and Cooperation (Helsinki Commission) holds a meeting headed by you on the subject "YUKOS and its consequences for business and politics in Russia." Surely, the Commission has the right to raise any issue it considers necessary in case that the discussion of it is provided by the needed balance of points of views and that answers the democratic essence of the organization. This case doesn't answer the requirements mentioned above. Thus it can be said that the results of the meeting will be tendentious. The fact is that only a single person will have the right to speak, and it is Leonid Nevzlin, joint owner of YUKOS Oil Company.
There are many political and public persons in Russia who could provide the objectivity of the Commission’s meeting by their presence, could give more information to the members of the Commission than the victim side. These public persons have large experience in participation in different international organizations, and some of them have the experience in working with the U.S. Senators and Congressmen. It can be mentioned that I also have such experience because of the fact of close cooperation with the U.S. senators in the framework of the "Council of Federation – U.S. Senate" Interparliamentary Working Group. It can be mentioned here that I also had to speak in the House of Representatives on the hearing of the case the subject of which was very tough for Russia. The subject was "Russia and The Axis of Evil."
Senator, taking into consideration our fruitful interparliamentary cooperation I suggest to return to the objective discussion of the issue concerning YUKOS (and any other problem concerning Russia you may find necessary to discuss) with the participation of all sides interested and involved. It is proved that the truth can be found only in the process of open, equal and unbiased competition. And I am definitely ready, as many of other Russian parliamentarians are, to provide you help and cooperation.
I am looking forward to seeing you soon.
Please, do not hesitate to contact me at any occasion.
Chairman, Committee for Foreign Affairs
Council of Federation
Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation