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All About Russia and Russian Travel => News and Travel in Russia => Topic started by: Sennaya on August 23, 2009, 07:42:08 AM

Title: Anti-corruption making progress in Medvedev's Russia?
Post by: Sennaya on August 23, 2009, 07:42:08 AM
Russian President Medvedev may be making his mark on Russia. Putin was credited with 8 years of economic stability. Several notable events this year under Medvedev's watch may earn him the title as the anti-corruption President.

First, in July all gambling establishments with gambling machines were shut down. Virtually unregulated in the early 1990s they reported surpassed 60,000 establishments centered in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
On July third they all were closed. Some may re-invent themselves as internet gambling halls and some will go to the 4 gambling regions named. Russia will ahve 4 LAs Vegas zones, but they have yet to appear. Probably the heads of the gambling chaines did not really believe the government would close their doors. Now they will have to build out some remote parts of Russia. At least four Russian 'Bugsy's will have to appear!

This week Mevedev's Interior Ministry’s economic security department — Operations and Investigations Bureau No. 3 — blew the cover on the 180m dollars embezzlement scam carried out at Sberbank, the Russian National Bank. Bank representatives reportedly accepted false loan documents and hand out 180 million dollars.
Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia. In Soviet times it was the only bank. Despite its attempts to modernize itself, it is a slow and frustrating bank to deal with. It is no surprise to find it with corruption problems.

It is surprising to see some anti- corruption movements finally getting traction in Russia as it moves towards a more transparent economy. I wish him success and security, it is always dangerous to block persons in Russia getting rich in illegal ways.

Building on Medvedev's success, I hope the next President will be known as the democratic reformer. Russia is growing up fast both economically and politically.

Read the St. Petersburg Times story about Sberbank at
Title: Laws begin to protect the accused and the innocent
Post by: Admiral_Kolchak on January 28, 2010, 09:31:55 PM
Russia has no mechanisms to protect individuals who are imprisoned on false charges. Businesspeople can be held in Russian pretrial detention centers on false charges. This was a common method that corrupt law enforcement officials used to extort bribes and seize businesses.

On Dec. 29, 2010, Russian President Medvedev signed a law to help reduce these abuses. Among other things, the law bans pretrial jailing of suspects in first-offense tax cases. This is a good start, but much more has to be done to solve the deeper problem of jailing innocent people.

When victims complain, they are often challenged by a corrupt system in which law enforcement officials protect one another. The complaints get bounced around in a bureaucratic runaround, going from one prosecutor and investigator to another. The process ultimately ends with a letter assuring the detainees that all actions taken against them were in accordance with the law.

Laws that support the assumption of innocence before guilt are the only way to protect people from abuse of the legal system. I hope hese laws will make a dent in the problem.

The St. Petersburg Times has an opinion
Title: Bribery still a problem in 2010
Post by: Sennaya on March 25, 2010, 11:07:10 PM
The average size of a bribe in Russia nearly tripled between 2008 and 2009, despite a weakened global economic climate, a Russian Interior Ministry report published on Thursday said.

"The size of a bribe, both commercial and personal, was more than 23,000 rubles ($776) last year," the ministry's Department of Economic Security report said. In 2008, the average size was 9,000 rubles ($304).

Bribery is one of the greatest hindering factors to Russia's investment climate. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged to fight corruption when he entered office in May 2008, highlighting the issue as one of the country's most serious problems.

A series of scandals involving police in 2009 culminated in a presidential decree ordering a major overhaul of the Interior Ministry, with personnel cuts of 20% over two years to be balanced by higher salaries for remaining staff.

"In 2009, 4,300 crimes were registered in commercial and other organizations, including 4,200 to the interior ministry itself. Some 1,700 of those were linked to corrupt business practices," the report said. Around 4,000 people were arrested for bribery in 2009.

"The figure is unlikely to change in 2010. Two elements contribute to the problem of corruption: the bribe taker and the bribe maker," head of the Economic Security Department Alexander Nazarov said on Thursday.

He noted, however, that the number of such cases did decrease by 7% in the first two months of 2010.

"A decrease of 7% isn't exactly a sign of global victory but it does mean that the measures taken in 2009 are working."

Russia was ranked 146th of 180 in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2009, below countries like Nigeria and Ecuador. It moved up one place from 2008, when it was ranked 147th.

MOSCOW, March 25, 2010 (RIA Novosti)
Title: Corrupt Practices Act forces more transparency for internation business
Post by: Sennaya on June 09, 2010, 12:29:20 AM

[url=]Cracking Down on Corruption[/url]

Aggressive enforcement of anti-corruption laws, particularly the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, is more than ever forcing multinational companies to avoid business practices and business partners that raise corruption risks. It is a fact that Russian companies seeking to do business with U.S. and other foreign companies will be scrutinized by prospective partners seeking assurance that their cooperation will not be tainted by improper payments.

Russian companies must act now if they wish to serve as agents, consultants or other service providers for U.S. companies, if they hope to enter joint ventures with U.S. partners, if they seek to position themselves as takeover targets or merger candidates for U.S. suitors, or if they seek to list shares on a U.S. stock exchange or otherwise undertake business in the United States.

The FCPA prohibits offering, giving or authorizing anything of value — whether cash or other tangible property or intangibles such as personal favors — to any non-U.S. official, including individuals serving state-controlled commercial enterprises, political party or political candidate to obtain some business advantage. The statute also requires companies to keep accurate books and maintain internal controls designed to prevent or detect improper payments.

Why is this relevant? First, non-U.S. companies are also subject to the FCPA if they conduct business in the United States, if their shares are listed on U.S. exchanges, or if they act on behalf of a U.S. company in connection with an illicit payment to a foreign public official.

Mercedes-Benz’s affiliate in Russia recently became the first Russian-based company to face criminal charges under the FCPA. It pleaded guilty in a Washington courtroom on April 2, agreeing to pay more than $27 million in criminal fines to settle charges arising out of bribes paid to Russian officials or relatives of Russian officials, in many cases through shell companies registered in the United States and into or through bank accounts located in the United States.

Read the whole story:
Title: Medvedev calls for rapid police reform
Post by: Sennaya on July 06, 2010, 09:34:25 PM
[b][url=}Medvedev calls for rapid police reform[/url][/b]
July 7, 2010
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged on Tuesday speeding up police reforms, the president's initiative aimed at improving the image of Russia's law enforcement agencies.

"I suppose that the document could be [drawn up] more quickly. Once it is ready, we will be able to not just discuss it, but submit to the State Duma for approval," Medvedev said ironically during a meeting dedicated to the issue in his Gorki residence outside Moscow.

He said he would submit the document to the Russian parliament's lower house himself, taking into consideration its importance.

Medvedev said the amendments to the Russian police legislation should help prevent corruption among police officials and make it impossible for them to use their position to suppress citizens' rights and freedoms.

He also said police officials should be given wider social benefits, adding that perhaps, a separate law should be drawn up for this goal.

The state of Russia's police has become a great concern after a number of high-profile police scandals, including the random shooting of several people in a supermarket by an off-duty police officer in April 2009.

In response to growing criticism, Medvedev ordered a large-scale reform of the police department in December 2009, including cuts in officer numbers and the increase of salaries.

The United States supports efforts made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the fight against corruption in Russia, the U.S. Department of State said.

Medvedev signed in April a bill on the creation of a national anti-corruption program for 2010-2011, aimed at eliminating corruption, including among top officials.

"President Medvedev has made anti-corruption efforts one of the priorities for his administration. President Medvedev has declared that Russia cannot compete with other countries on the world stage unless it stems and reverses the tide of corruption in Russian society, from the top governmental level to ordinary societal interactions," the department said in its report Advancing Freedom and Democracy.

The Berlin-based non-governmental anti-corruption organization Transparency International has persistently rated Russia one of the most corrupt nations in the world. In the 2009 Corruption Perception Index, Russia was ranked 146th of 180, below countries like Togo, Pakistan and Libya. The United States was ranked 19th.

A total of 4,500 corruption cases were brought to court in the first half of 2009 in Russia, with 532 public officials and 700 law enforcers convicted.
Title: Putin urges enforcement of anti-corruption laws in Russia
Post by: Sennaya on July 06, 2010, 09:36:52 PM
[b][url=}Putin urges enforcement of anti-corruption laws in Russia[/url][/b]
July 7, 2010

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that those guilty of corruption should be hanged but this is not the method for Russia and urged the enforcement of anti-corruption laws.

Putin attended a session of the regional branch of Russia's ruling United Russia party in the North Caucasus, where he was asked by one of the participants what should be done to eradicate corruption in Russia.

"What should be done to eradicate corruption? Probably [execution by] hanging, but this is not our method," Putin said.

He added that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has already initiated a national strategy on the fight against corruption and approved a package of anti-corruption laws.

"These laws must be enforced and applied effectively," Putin said.

Medvedev signed in April a bill on the creation of a national anti-corruption program for 2010-2011 aimed at eliminating corruption, including among top officials.

The Berlin-based non-governmental anti-corruption organization Transparency International has persistently rated Russia one of the most corrupt nations in the world. In the 2009 Corruption Perception Index, Russia was ranked 146th of 180, below countries like Togo, Pakistan and Libya. The United States was ranked 19th.

A total of 4,500 corruption cases were brought to court in the first half of 2009 in Russia, with 532 public officials and 700 law enforcers convicted.