Vladimir Kramnik: "Sanctions Against Ilyumzhinov is Revenge of Kasparov and the US Department of State"

- In November last year, the US Treasury imposed sanctions against Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Have you ever thought of eventually becoming a head of FIDE?

- Definitely not now. I am the second-strongest professional player of the world. Besides, I was not invited by anybody. In addition, I do not feel that Ilyumzhinov is going to leave. The temporary limitation of his authority is the tactical move. Whatever anyone regarded him, I'm sure that the accusations against him are absolutely far-fetched.
It's more like the revenge of Kasparov for losing 2014 elections when he fought against Ilyumzhinov for FIDE Presidency and lost by a wide margin. Mind you, Garry Klimovich had enormous US support, including financial backing.
Perhaps the people who stood behind Kasparov had good contacts in the State Department. And they decided to combine business with pleasure: to make up for the failed elections and try to prevent the signing of a major contract ...

- What contract?
- It all started moving when FIDE was about to sign the contract for the right to host the World Championship match in November. A couple of months ago, I personally spoke with one of the initiators of the project, the famous American businessman. And he confirmed that the sponsors were ready for the match and other chess competitions in the United States.
The sanctions were announced just a few days before the signing. Do not you think it's suspicious? I understand: my personal opinion may seem like a ‘conspiracy theory’. But, believe me, I'm not the only one who adheres to this version.
Anyway, what have sanctions got to do with it? If Ilyumzhinov traded oil with terrorists, it would have been a criminal offense. Kirsan Nikolaevich said that he was ready to defend himself in an American court, but no legal charges were served.
I suspect there wouldn’t be any court proceedings because in this case the solid evidence is required. In short, if they have specific charges, they should apply to court and if they do not have these, then there should be no sanctions.