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October 25, 2010

Report: Russia Perceived as Most Corrupt Major Economy

An international organization monitoring graft has ranked Russia as the world's most corrupt major economy, ranking it 154th out of 178 nations examined in its annual study.

The ranking by Berlin-based Transparency International also identifies Russia as the most corrupt among the 20 key industrialized and developing economies, called the Group of 20.  

The study, released Tuesday, places Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland as the five least corrupt nations.

Moscow is edging towards joining the World Trade Organization, and Russian authorities are launching a program aimed at training bureaucrats to identify and combat corruption.

Russian news reports say 500 Interior Ministry officials and prosecutors will attend the one-week anti-corruption course at the Kremlin-run Academy of Civil Service by the end of the year.

In July, the Association of Russian Attorneys for Human Rights issued a report saying about 50 percent of Russia's $1.2 trillion Gross Domestic Product involves corrupt transactions.

Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index also places Georgia as 68th on its list, and Azerbaijan and Ukraine tied in 134th place. Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Kosovo, Armenia and Belarus are ranked between 69th and 127th on the 2010 list.

The watchdog organization defines corruption as the "abuse of entrusted power for private gain," both in public and private sectors.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.