Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was recently freed after 10 years in jail, has been granted with a three-month Swiss visa.
“The visa allows a three-month stay in the Schengen area,” the Swiss embassy in Berlin said, referring to the 26-nation free-travel zone in Europe.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been staying in a German hotel following his release earlier this month.
His family lives in Switzerland and he has business there.
At the time of his arrest more than 10 years ago, Mikhail Khodorkovsky was Russia’s richest man, and he used some of his wealth to fund opposition parties.
He was found guilty of fraud and tax evasion, and has always insisted that his conviction was politically motivated.
Since being freed on December 20, and immediately flying to Germany, Mikhail Khodorkovsky has vowed to stay out of Russia.
But his spokesman admitted last week that he was considering a possible move to Switzerland, because that is where his wife Inna lives and his twin sons go to school.
A spokesman for Mikhail Khodorkovsky said: “He is very grateful to the Swiss authorities for the speed and efficiency with which they have dealt with his visa application.”
Mikhail Khodorkovsky had been due to be released next August, but requested a pardon because his mother is suffering from cancer.Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Schengen Area