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.

    Putin orders officials to drop foreign assets
    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. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.