04/28/2014 12:41 pm ET Updated Apr 28, 2014

Oil Tycoon Khodorkovsky Downplays Sanctions Weapon In Ukraine Crisis

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

As the US and EU prepare to unveil new sanctions against Russia, accusing it of destabilising Ukraine, the former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky has downplayed their impact.

Speaking in Donetsk where he said he was visiting to show his support for Ukrainian unity, he said: “No sanctions will affect Russia immediately. The current gold and foreign currency reserves, the peculiarities of the energy distribution system with ways that energy suppliers can be replaced, all mean that Russia’s economy won’t be put in a critical situation for the next three to five years.”

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