Did Fans' Reaction Help Prokhorov's View of U.S., West?

NEW YORK - MAY 19: New Jersey Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses the media during a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 19, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Those close to Mikhail Prokhorov say his feelings toward the United States have evolved, shaped, in part, by his experience as the Nets owner. When he purchased the team he didn't know what to expect. Would there be suspicions? a Cold War hangover?

But they say he was pleasantly surprised by reaction he got from NBA owners and particularly Nets fans. As one said, he found it all quite endearing. Now are we starting to see the product of that in his foreign policy pronouncements as he runs for Russian president? Seems so. On Tuesday he told an English language television outlet that it's time for Russia to embrace the West.

On Wednesday, Prokhorov was officially cleared to run for President, one of four candidates in the March 4 election. However, two liberal candidates were denied access to the ballot box, leading some to believe he is Vladimir Putin's preferred opponent. As part of the process, he submitted an income report. Over the past four years, he disclosed his income totaled $3.785 billion, almost a billion dollars annually. Mitt Romney, consider yourself a piker.

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