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© RIA Novosti. Maksim Bogodvid

Russia's corruption keeps getting worse

by Ed Bentley at 27/10/2010 10:08

Russia has slipped eight places in Transparency International’s corruption index despite the government’s attempts to weed out bribery.

The report put Russia 154th out of 178, in a group only slightly better off than war-torn countries such as Somalia and Afghanistan.

Dmitry Medvedev had made tackling corruption a key aim of his presidency, but the country remains one of the worst in Eastern Europe. Russia was 20 places behind Ukraine and 27 below Belarus.

 

Shame

Elena Panfilova, head of the Russian branch of Transparency International, said it was a “national shame”, RTT News reported.

Corruption remains a major deterrent for Western investors and Russia’s slip down the rankings is going to do little to attract the cash and expertise the country requires for its modernisation drive.

“The fact that corruption is viewed as worsening in Russia is one of the major reasons why strategic investors remain wary of investing in the country,” Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Uralsib, wrote in a note to investors ahead of the results.

Fund flows to Russia have lagged behind other emerging markets this year due to an increased perception of risk.

The average price of a bribe has also shot up this year, according to Interior Ministry stats. This year personal pay-offs and small business backhanders rose to 44,000 roubles ($1,450), up from 23,000 roubles ($750) in 2009.

 

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