Head of the St. Petersburg State University is not required to disclose his income because the university was founded by the tsar back in 1724, prosecutors said.
The Kremlin ordered in 2009 for heads of all state-affiliated organizations and their families to disclose their annual income declarations. However, rectors of state universities in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the country’s two leading higher education establishments that are directly subordinate to the president, have not complied.
Transparency International Russia earlier petitioned the St. Petersburg prosecutors' office to make the rectors disclose their incomes.
However, prosecutors have said that the presidential order only covers organizations created by the Russian Federation, whereas the university in St. Petersburg was established on the order of Peter the Great in times before the federation, the watchdog reported late Wednesday.
A copy of the official reply from the prosecutors was published on Facebook by Transparency International Russia head Yelena Panfilova, who said the same explanation was given concerning the Moscow State University, founded in 1755.
Panfilova denounced the reply as “mockery of the law” and said her watchdog will appeal. Neither university has commented on the incident.
The Russian Federation has only partially recognized itself as a successor state to the tsarist Russian Empire, which ended in 1917, and is deciding on succession matters on a case-to-case basis.