Gorbachev could make return to politics

A Russian tycoon said today he and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev will pair up to create a new political party.

Billionaire businessman Alexander Lebedev said he and Mr Gorbachev plan to join forces in what may be called the Independent Democratic Party.

Mr Lebedev suggested on his website today that the party would try to reverse Russia’s steps away from democracy in recent years.

Mr Gorbachev is popular abroad, but is reviled by many Russians who blame him for the collapse of the Soviet Union. He won less than 1% of the vote in the 1996 presidential election.

Mr Gorbachev could not immediately be reached for comment. He and Mr Lebedev are part owners of an independent newspaper that has been critical of the Kremlin and have teamed up on other projects.

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