Israeli-Russian billionaire Leonid Nevzlin, who opposes Russian President Vladimir Putin and lives in exile, has announced that he is renouncing his Russian citizenship. Moscow-born Nevzilin, 62, made his fortune after the breakup of the Soviet Union together with his Russian-Jewish business partner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, when they set up the Yukos oil company in 1993. The company was liquidated in 2007, after the Russian regime claimed that Nevzlin and Khodorkovsky committed capital market offenses. Nevzlin had left Russia in 2003, after being accused of various offenses by the Russian government.
In 2008, a Russian court convicted in absentia of conspiracy to murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Russia has several times requested his extradition but Israel has refused. In 2014, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of Nevzlin and accused Russia of carrying out "a ruthless campaign of destruction and expropriation of Nevzlin's assets."
Nevzlin said, "Everything that Putin touches dies. Russian citizenship itself has become a mark of disgrace that I no longer want to carry. I am against the war, I am against occupation, and I am against exterminating the Ukrainian people. I am an Israeli citizen and if I wanted to think about having another citizenship, I would be proud to receive a Ukrainian passport."
The assets of the Yukos oil company were divided up between Russian government oil companies Roseneft and Gazprom.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 9, 2022.
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