The fight against corruption has been named by President Dimitry Medvedev as his number one priority for Russia.
He told the Federation Council that he would attack dishonesty on three fronts: creating incentives for officials to work ethically; making sure the corrupt do not escape punishment; and changing Russia’s mentality which has long tolerated the situation.
“Corruption has become the way of life for many in Russia. It is sad, but that is the way it is,” he said.
It is estimated that corrupt Russian officials are pocketing more than 75 billion euros a year, equivalent to a third of the national budget. A 2007 index of worldwide dishonesty by Transparency International ranked Russia down alongside Togo, Angola and Indonesia. Medvedev is not the first Russian leader to try to root out corruption, but none has delivered any substantial progress.