Philly Inquirer Opinion Columnist Trudy Rubin quotes Mikhail Khodorkovsky from an Atlantic Council event, Russia’s Strategic Interest With the West, on his predictions for the future of a European Russia after Putin:

It was fascinating to hear Mikhail Khodorkovsky – the billionaire oil magnate whom Russian President Vladimir Putin imprisoned for a decade – describe a Russia that could be a democratic ally of America and Europe ten or twenty years from now.

“Sooner or later, the system will collapse,” Khodorkovsky told the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington last week, adding, “After Putin, the situation will change.”

Freed by Putin just before the Sochi Olympics and now living in exile in Switzerland, the fifty-one-year-old dissident urged Western nations to prepare for that future. “The West must establish close relations with the European-oriented part of Russia and (plan for) rapid reintegration into the global system after the regime changes,” he warned, because “we’re not going to have a big window of opportunity.”

Read the full article here.