Russian opposition figures say that they want to change Russia, rather than replace its leaders.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"We don't want to replace a bad tsar with a good one, one tsar with another. What we want is that there's no tsar at all. We want to change the model, the system as such, not a concrete individual," opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza told reporters on Friday after the annual Vilnius Russia Forum.

Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky also said that he was not pinning his hopes for change on any election.

"It's impossible to predict the moment when the public may run out of patience," he said at the news conference in the district of Trakai, where the two-day forum took place.

Russia will hold the next presidential election in March 2018. Most experts believe that President Vladimir Putin will seek another term, but he has not yet announced whether he will run.

Khodorkovsky said that he could not foresee how the election would go, noting that it was not yet clear whether the authorities would restrict the possibilities for the opposition to participate.

"I'm not sure if the Kremlin is interested in the real opposition taking part in the election in 2018. I don't rule out that the only possible strategy for the opposition in the election might be to invite people to vote against all candidates," he said.

According to Kara-Murza, historically, changes at the top of Russian politics have always started suddenly and unexpectedly and, therefore, the opposition and civil society must always be ready for changes.

Khodorkovsky underlined the importance of Russia's general elections scheduled for 2021.

"That year will see the formation of a government that will have to cross the Rubicon. 2024 is the Rubicon when President Putin, under the current Constitution, will have to leave his post," he said.

Participants of the Vilnius Russia Forum, which started on Thursday, discussed Russia's development trends, its economic situation, the fight against Russian propaganda and other relevant issues.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Polish ForMin urges Lithuania to scrap election threshold for ethnic minorities - Interview (1)

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz has called on Lithuania to amend its legislation so that...

Russian-language TV channel Current Time to be launched in Lithuania

The Vilnius TV Tower is starting on Friday to re transmit Current Time , a US-funded Russian-language...

Polish foreign minister urges Lithuania to solve name-spelling issues

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz on Thursday called on Lithuania to allow the original...

Lithuania not in talks with Belarus on electricity from N-plan (1)

Commenting on Minsk's statement that negotiations are underway with neighbors on the supply of...

Lithuania-Poland relations develop in good direction - Polish deputy foreign minister

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Papierz says that relations between Lithuania and Poland are...