Alexander Lebedev pledges support for Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny
Thursday 21 June 2012
Alexander Lebedev threw his support behind the Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny yesterday, offering him backing in any future presidential bid.
Speaking at the think-tank Chatham House, the financial backer of The Independent said that the man who led the protests in Moscow against the re-election of President Vladimir Putin would have his support as long as he was standing in free and fair elections. "Yes, I would support him, but if he decides to run alone, he has to be challenged by someone."
Mr Navalny, a lawyer who rose to prominence as an opposition blogger, is one of Russia's most promising opposition leaders after exposing corruption in Moscow's political classes.
He is said to be the opposition figure feared most by the Russian leader. Last December he was detained for several days after being arrested during an opposition rally; two weeks ago his flat was raided by police ahead of another planned march. Mr Lebedev's support for any Kremlin bid comes after he offered backing to Mr Navalny's Foundation for Fighting Corruption.
Mr Lebedev is one of several wealthy Russians, known as the "16 brave ones", who have offered financial assistance to organisations supporting a crackdown against corruption. Vladimir Ashurkov, executive director of the Navalny foundation, said that the persecution of opposition figures had worsened since Mr Putin's re-election.
"No doubt, the system in Russia will change," Mr Ashurkov said. "It may take six months, or six years, but the situation will change. Since the election, the crackdown has intensified, but we believe in what we do, and will not stop – it is the only way."
Mr Lebedev used the event to lay out his anti-graft manifesto and called for international support – involving Europe, the US, China and Russia – to tackle the issue. He warned that illegal and embezzled funds would total $12trn (£7.6trn) over the next decade.
"Just imagine that amount of money sitting somewhere beyond any controls of central banks, or politicians even being aware of it – nobody at the G20 was discussing that," he said.
"I was... still hoping that President Putin would come up [with] an initiative – since Russia is now hosting the G20 – to organise an international board with special powers to fight global corruption – alas, it hasn't been achieved."
- 1 Gun instructor accidentally shot dead by nine-year-old girl with Uzi gun
- 2 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 3 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
Kensington flat branded ‘uninhabitable’ by estate agent on sale for a bargain £600,000
Gun instructor accidentally shot dead by nine-year-old girl with Uzi gun
Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...
£55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...