MOSCOW, July 30 (RIA Novosti) – While the number of bribes being offered in Russia rose 30 percent in the first six months of this year, the number of bribes accepted was down 6.5 percent, a top prosecutor said Tuesday, questioning the objectivity of those figures.
Such figures could be related to the desire of regional prosecutors to embellish statistics, First Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Buksman said at a meeting to assess the agency’s performance in the first half of the year.
Prosecutors in the Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Kemerovo and Samara regions (central Russia and Siberia) who have reported a significant rise in the number of accepted bribes “need to look into the objectivity of that phenomenon as a matter of urgency and report back on measures taken,” Buksman said.
He also urged regional prosecutors to go after corruption in a big way and not bother with 1,000 ruble to 5,000 ruble ($30-$150) lawsuits in an effort to pad their figures.
Buksman attributed such practices to prosecutors in central Russia’s Vologda, Ryazan and Ivanovo regions, and warned against attempts to churn out apparently impressive reports that lack substance.
Overall, the number of corruption-related lawsuits for damages filed by prosecutors so far this year was almost 25 percent higher than in the same period last year, he said.
Russian courts have already approved 80 percent of those suits, worth almost 700 million rubles, the deputy prosecutor general added.
The Transparency International global watchdog estimated the cost of corruption in Russia at $300 billion last year, placing Russia 133rd out of 174 countries in its Corruption Perceptions Index.