Khodorkovsky, who was released from prison just a few weeks ago is reported to be spending some quality time with Leonid Nevzlin, his friend and former business partner.
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Leonid Nevzlin Mikhail Khodorkovsky / Getty
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was only released him from prison on December 20 of last year, has taken his first trip out of Europe since then to visit Israel.
Khodorkovsky, who was, somewhat surprisingly, granted a pardon by President Vladimir Putin last month after spending more than 10 years in jail, immediately flew off to Berlin, Germany after his release.
Khodorkovsky has been reportedly granted a travel visa to Switzerland, where his wife and family currently have a home, although it is not certain whether he plans to live there permanently, or risk returning to Russia.
Another possibility is that he will make his home in Israel, where his close friend and former business partner Leonid Nevzlin settled more than 10 years ago. Nevlin is unlikely to ever return to Russia, where he is liable to face some pretty complicated terminal charges, even more severe than that which Mikhael Khodorkovsky had to face after he was arrested at gunpoint on an airplane in 2005 as it taxied down the runway before takeoff on its way to Siberia.
Before his arrest, Khodorkovsky was Russia’s wealthiest man, although most of his personal fortune disappeared after the Yukos Oil Company which he owned and was at one time Russian largest oil producer, was initially bankrupted by the Putin administration and later sold off to Rosneft the state-controlled oil production and distribution giant.
Leonid Nevzlin met Mikhail Khodorkovsky first became became friendly in the late 1980s and in 1990, they established the Menatep Bank, which eventually grew to become the Yukos, evolving into one of the world’s largest non-state oil companies during the 1990s.
As Yukos’ activities in Russia began to capture the attention of the Putin administration, in August 2003 Nevzlin left the country, ostensibly for a short visit to Israel, where he has remained ever since.
According to a spokesperson for Khodorkovsky, is that it is neither a working or business trip, but simply a private visit, although it is known that he has already met with Nevzlin during his stay.