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Putin proposed to abandon the international convention on responsibility for corruption. What does it mean?

Putin submitted to the Duma a bill to denounce the convention on responsibility for corruption

Putin submitted to the Duma a bill to denounce the convention on responsibility for corruption

A photo: REUTERS

The bill “On the denunciation by Russia of the convention on criminal liability for corruption” appeared on the website of the State Duma on Monday. The explanatory note says that our country did not have any powers under the convention, but obligations remained.

“Such conditions are unacceptable for Russia,” the commentary to the bill says.

More specifically, this is what happened (the whole story is in the commentary to the bill): the Council of Europe terminated our full membership in the Group of States against Corruption. At the same time, other countries could still control how we fulfill the obligations of the convention, while Russia lost both its voice and the right to discuss reports …

Vladimir Vladimirovich rightly called this “discrimination.” Any sense for us to remain on such conditions is completely gone.

We decided to find out what we are talking about, what kind of convention it is and what we will get from refusing it.

WHY DID YOU SIGN?

– We joined the convention in 1999. At that time it was a good event for us, – RANEPA professor Alexander Kostanyants told KP. “At that time, our laws had a rather narrow understanding of the concept of corruption. Caught a person red-handed while receiving a bribe – this is corruption. And any parochialism and protectionism were, as it were, outside the legal field. The convention helped us to adapt the laws to the realities of the times.

RANEPA Professor Lyudmila Pronina explained to Komsomolskaya Pravda that after joining the convention, such concepts as a conflict of interests of the parties, the interests of family members of an official appeared in our laws, state purchases began to be carried out through competitions …

“Even the publication of income declarations is one of the requirements of the convention,” Pronina added.

At the same time, we did not accept some points. For example, that a corrupt official must answer with his property if he gets caught.

– In many countries it is automatically considered a crime if an official’s expenses exceed his income. But we didn’t adopt this article of the convention either, – he noted in a conversation with the KP political scientist Georgy Bovt.

WHAT WILL CHANGE?

Nothing at first. The materials to the bill say that no laws will cease to operate. That is, everything that we have already adopted within the framework of the convention will remain. Withdrawal from the convention does not mean a rejection of many years of anti-corruption work in Russia – this is just a break in contacts with Europe.

Another thing is that in the future some changes may occur. Already, some public procurements can be carried out without competition, and some employees are allowed not to publish income declarations.

– After Russia left the Council of Europe, our participation in other international agreements actually ceased. Now the laws are simply brought to the actual state of affairs, – Bovt explained.

We are also members of 40 different international conventions: on the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation, on money laundering and the financing of terrorism, on counterfeit products that threaten public health, on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, on the recognition of higher education in the European Region, on the protection archaeological heritage and co-production.

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