Putin declares war on corruption

Nov 25, 2003 01:00 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has become the top fighter against corruption. Mr Putin signed a decree setting up a presidential council for fighting corruption. In this noble undertaking, the President will be assisted by top officials, including the Prime Minister, chairmen of both chambers of parliament and the heads of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Higher Arbitration Court.
The members of the Council will have to attend the sessions in person, without delegating their powers to anyone else. The Council will have a rotating chairmanship, but the President will preside over the council when he pleases.

The decision to set up a special body to fight corruption is in line with recent developments. Earlier, immediately after the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of the Yukos oil company, Mr Putin announced that corruption was one of the main threats to the country’s national security. He assigned his officials to prepare proposals on the measures to fight corruption.
Two weeks later, the President received a long list of recommendations; legal consultants suggested setting up a special body, law enforcement agencies asked for additional powers, and economists said it was necessary to concentrate on "institutional" reasons of corruption. As it often happens, the truth was somewhere in the middle.

So far, not law enforcement officials but top civil officials (who, it should be noted, have almost the same powers as their colleagues in law enforcement bodies) have been mobilized to combat corruption. It seems that the idea "to imprison them all" is not exactly what the country needs today. On the other hand, "liberal" proposals are also untimely. At first glance, the new council is not designed for specific punitive actions.
"The Council does not consider reports about crimes and wrongdoing, it does not conduct checks of professional discipline," it is said in the Council’s regulations.

Source: Gateway To Russia
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