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Khodorkovsky says no more politics for him

Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said he will not return to politics after his presidential pardon and release from prison. He also said he will not try to regain assets from his former company, Yukos.

"I do not intend to get involved in politics and do not intend to fight for the return of assets," Khodorkovsky told the Russian magazine The New Times in an interview published on Sunday.

He also said he would not return to Russia unless he was sure he could leave without impediment.

"From an objective point of view, I will return only if I am certain that I will be able to leave when necessary," he told the magazine.

"Our authorities can honestly say that they did not send me into exile. But knowing our realities, we can absolutely precisely understand that they wanted me out of the country," he said.

He also said that that there were no conditions attached to his release and that he had made no admission of guilt when asking Russian President Vladimir Putin for a

pardon.

German connection

In a separate interview with the Dozhd television channel, he said it was former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher who had suggested he apply to Putin for a pardon on the humanitarian grounds that his mother was severely ill.

The 50-year-old Khodorkovsky

flew to the German capital, Berlin, on Saturday

aboard a private jet sent by Genscher after his release from a prison near the Arctic Circle following a pardon from Putin. There,

he was reunited with his parents, who flew in from Moscow, and his eldest son Pavel,

who lives in the United States.

Detained since 2003, Khodorkovsky was convicted on separate financial charges in 2005 and 2010, and had been due for release in August 2014.

Kremlin critics say his imprisonment was a politically motivated punishment for challenging Putin.

tj/msh (Reuters, AFP)

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