Exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky said in an interview published Friday that he was planning the violent overthrow of Russian President Vladimir Putin from his home in Britain.
"We need to use force to change this regime ... It isn't possible to change this regime through democratic means," Berezovsky told The Guardian.
"There can be no change without force, pressure."
Asked by the newspaper if he was fomenting a revolution, he said: "You are absolutely correct."
Berezovsky, a close associate of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, obtained political asylum in Britain in 2003 after fleeing his homeland in 2000. London has repeatedly rejected requests from Moscow to have him extradited.
His comments were denounced by the Kremlin, whose relations with London have deteriorated in recent months, following the poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in November.
Litvinenko and his associates pointed the finger at Moscow, a charge Russia repeatedly denied.
Berezovsky was questioned late last month as part of Russia's ongoing probe into Litvinenko's murder, with London police asking questions on behalf of Russian investigators -- Scotland Yard is also carrying out its own inquiry.
"There is no chance of regime change through democratic elections ... If one part of the political elite disagrees with another part of the political elite -- that is the only way in Russia to change the regime," Berezovsky continued.
"I try to move that."
He declined, however, to give details to back up his statements, saying they were too sensitive, and also declined to elaborate on contacts he claimed to have with members of the Russian political elite, saying they would be murdered if he identified them.
Berezovsky told the paper that he was providing his "political experience and ideology" and his "understanding of how it could be done."
"There are also practical steps which I am doing now, and mostly it is financial."
The Kremlin's chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded by telling The Guardian that "in accordance with our legislation (his remarks are) being treated as a crime."
"It will cause some questions from the British authorities to Mr Berezovsky. We want to believe that official London will never grant asylum to someone who wants to use force to change the regime in Russia.
"I now believe our prosecutor general's office has got lots of questions for Mr Berezovsky ... His words are very interesting. This is a very sensitive issue," Peskov was quoted as saying by the daily.
The British foreign ministry said it had nothing to add to comments made by former foreign secretary Jack Straw last year that "advocating the violent overthrow of a sovereign state is unacceptable."
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16