[QODLink]
Europe

Putin orders officials to drop foreign assets

As part of his "campaign against corruption", Putin orders Russian officials to close foreign bank accounts by July 1.

Last Modified: 03 Apr 2013 06:56
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Russia's central bank chief said in February that almost $50 billion was sent abroad illegally last year [AFP]

Russian officials have three months to get rid of financial assets abroad as part of a campaign led by President Vladimir Putin to stem corruption and capital flight. 

Sergei Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, announced on Tuesday measures related a drive to "de-offshore" the Russian economy - a term used by Putin in the first state of the nation of speech of his new term last year. 

"If a person has foreign accounts today, we are giving him three months to get rid of these accounts," he said.

He added that Putin had signed two decrees designed to accompany legislation he submitted to parliament in February, which would bar many officials and state company executives from holding bank accounts, stocks and other financial instruments abroad. 

The bill initially submitted to parliament by the president forbade officials from owning property abroad, and allowed officials to open foreign accounts through Russian banks. 

Putin's image

Ivanov dismissed suspicion among critics who suspect the measures were aimed at boosting Putin's image by portraying him as taking tough action on Russia's ruling elite. 

"The fight against corruption is no public relations campaign or attempt to draw attention away from serious problems, it is a long war," Ivanov said.

He said corruption "discredits the authorities", saying it is a "rust that eats away at the very foundations of statehood and public morals." 

Russia ranked 133rd out of 174 states in Transparency International's 2012 Corruption Perception Index. Its central bank chief said in February that almost $50 billion was sent abroad illegally last year. 

255

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.