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Russian Justice Ministry To Decriminalize 'Unavoidable' Bribes

By RFE/RL January 29, 2019

Russia's Justice Ministry has proposed a bill decriminalizing bribery and other corruption acts committed under "exceptional circumstances."

The draft bill, published on the state website for legislation on January 29, was prepared following an anticorruption plan outlined by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June.

"In certain circumstances, complying with restrictions and bans...to prevent or settle conflicts of interests...is impossible for objective reasons," the measure on the government's legal portal says, adding that the new legislation's goal is to free individuals from prosecution in such cases.

The Justice Ministry does not provide examples of circumstances that would allow officials to escape punishment.

Russia's Vedomosti business daily reported on January 28 that the ministry will provide specific examples of exemptions to anticorruption laws after public discussions of the proposal wrap up on February 8.

Russia ranks among the world's most corrupt countries, with Transparency International's annual corruption perceptions index ranking it in 138th place this year out of 180 countries.

With reporting by Vedomosti and The Moscow Times

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/russian- justice-ministry-to-decriminalize-unavoidable -bribes/29740470.html

Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.



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