Russian anti-corruption laws come into force

December 26th, 2008 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Dec 26 (RIA Novosti) The Russian government has put in place a package of anti-corruption laws requiring state officials and politicians to declare their assets and sources of income.President Dmitry Medvedev told the country’s federal investigation agency FSB that he had signed Thursday the package of anti-corruption laws passed by the lower house of parliament Dec 19.

Medvedev had declared after taking office in May that tackling corruption was a priority for his administration.

The new anti-corruption bill requires politicians and state officials to declare their income, property and assets and that of their spouses and children. In addition, officials are required to report all incidents involving actual or possible corrupt activity.

State officials who resign from their posts require prior permission for up to two years to work at commercial and non-commercial organizations with which they previously had links.

The bill also introduces restrictions on gifts. State officials will only be able to accept gifts worth up to 3,000 rubles ($109), more expensive presents will become state property.

The Russian Criminal-Procedural Code will now have simplified procedures to bring to account judges and other officials suspected of being involved in corrupt practices. Russian nationals, foreigners and stateless people will also be held accountable if involved in corruption cases.

In a survey of senior business executives published in early December by the German-based Transparency International, Russian companies were considered the most likely to engage in bribery abroad.

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