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Russia Signs OECD Anti Bribery Convention

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, on Wednesday signed the Anti-Bribery Convention of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The convention requires signatories to criminalize overseas bribery by their citizens and impose punishment for violations. It also requires cooperation among members to prosecute graft.

Signing the 1997 convention is a prerequisite for joining the OECD. Russia has applied for membership. Non-OECD members can also sign the convention.

China hasn’t yet joined the convention but is also seeking OECD membership.

According to a report from RIA Novosti, Transparency International Russia lobbied the Kremlin for twelve years to sign the convention. The report said blogger and whistleblower Alexei Navalny also pushed for the action.

OECD members are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.

Non-member signatories to the OECD anti bribery convention are Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, and South Africa.

The OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions can be downloaded here.

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The Russian President’s office issued this statement on February 1:

Dmitry Medvedev signed Federal Law On Russia’s Accession to the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted the convention on November 21, 1997.

The convention is an effective instrument of combat against corruption implemented by the signatory countries through the UN, G8, Council of Europe, APEC, IMF, World Bank, and other international organisations.

By joining the convention, Russia will facilitate efforts in international cooperation on combating bribery of foreign public officials, and also fulfil one of the conditions for joining the OECD.

Implementing the federal law on joining the convention will require up to 100,000 euros in additional federal budget funding, to finance Russia’s contribution for participation in the OECD Working Group. This money will be paid as part of the yearly budget funds allocated to the Russian Foreign Ministry.  

The bodies vested with powers regarding the convention will be defined by presidential executive order.

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