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Russian President Medvedev signs package of anti-corruption laws

RIA Novosti

25/12/2008 19:24 MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's president said Thursday he had signed a package of anti-corruption laws.

"I have just signed the entire package of laws to counter corruption," Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with FSB director Alexander Bortnikov.

Medvedev demanded that law enforcement bodies study the laws in detail to efficiently use them in practice.

Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, passed the president-proposed package of anti-corruption legislation, which had been amended, in its third and final reading on December 19.

The anti-corruption bill was submitted to the State Duma on October 3 by Dmitry Medvedev, who declared soon after taking office in May that tackling corruption was a priority.

The bill requires politicians and state officials to make a public declaration of their income, property and assets and that of their spouse 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. And 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.

Over 2,700 senior executives from the world's 22 wealthiest and most economically influential countries were asked how often, in their experience, firms headquartered in particular countries are involved in bribe taking. Russia came 22nd.

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