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Khodorkovsky's Release May Promote Russia's Investment Climate - Yurgens

MOSCOW. Aug 6 (Interfax) - Director of the Institute of Modern Development and leading member of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) Igor Yurgens thinks there is 40% probability that former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky will be released on parole.

That was his answer to the question about the chances of Khodorkovsky being freed soon asked on a live program of Ekho Moskvy radio on Wednesday. "I am an historical optimist," he added.

In his opinion, Khodorkovsky's release would have an absolutely positive impact on the investment climate in Russia.

Yurgens said that such a step would also be vital for the climate of understanding between the authorities and the part of the intellectuals "for whom this story remains very curious and symbolic."

"The reconciliation between the authorities and the productive, creative part of the population in Russia would be very important," he said.

At the same time Yurgens admitted that "many colleagues with whom we started out at RUIE are extremely indifferent to the situation with Khodorkovsky," if they remember it. "And some took it as the disappearance of a competitor," he said.