New Jersey Nets owner won't serve under Putin

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New Jersey Nets owner won't serve under Putin

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Russian presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov has said that he has no plans to serve in Vladimir Putin’s cabinet.

The billionaire owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team won just over seven percent of the votes cast on Sunday.

Russia’s third richest man has an estimated net worth of 13.6 billion euros, according to a 2011 study by Forbes magazine.

He now plans to spend some of his fortune on staying in politics.

“When the government is a de facto subsidiary of the Kremlin, I’m not interested in working for the government,” Prokhorov told reporters.

“I have a different task now – it’s necessary to create a new political party.”

Prokhorov scored highly amongst educated young professionals living in Russia’s large cities – where anti-Putin sentiment is at its strongest.

Maria Lipman of the Carnegie Centre in Moscow said his results in Moscow were “very good” because he succeeded in closing the gap with Putin to just a few percentage points.

“At almost all the polling stations (in Moscow), he came second,” Lipman said.

“A modern, progressive portion of society backed Prokhorov despite the view of some that he, in fact, has very close ties to the Kremlin.”

He was beaten into third place by Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, who won 17 percent of the vote.

Zyuganov declined an invitation to meet with Putin on Monday and has refused to congratulate him on his victory.

“With this sort of victory everyone has lost, because the forced results and forced meetings cause nothing for the citizens of Russia except humiliation and distress.”