Putin promises don't tempt exiled Russian economist who fled criminal investigation to return

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A Russian economist who fled to Paris from what he calls a politically motivated criminal investigation says he won't return to Russia, despite President Vladimir Putin's assurances.

Sergei Guriev told the Associated Press Tuesday that he did not feel safe to return to the jurisdiction of Russian investigators. Putin said at a European Union-Russia summit earlier Tuesday that Guriev had nothing to fear if he had not broken the law.

"Putin said that before the Investigative Committee started doing all its nasty things to me and threatening me. As a free person I would rather be safe than sorry," Guriev said.

Guriev left fearing he could become a suspect in a case linked to jailed former oil baron Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man.