News / Europe

Russian Officials Have 3 Months to Ditch Foreign Bank Accounts

FILE - Kremlin's Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov during a meeting in Moscow, Dec. 9, 2012.
FILE - Kremlin's Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov during a meeting in Moscow, Dec. 9, 2012.
Reuters
Russian officials have until July 1 to get rid of financial assets abroad as part of President Vladimir Putin's campaign to stem corruption and capital flight, his chief of staff said on Tuesday.

Sergei Ivanov, held a rare Kremlin news conference to announce measures related to a drive to "de-offshore" the Russian economy - a term used by Putin in the first state of the nation speech of his new term last year.

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.

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, Ivanov said.

"If a person has foreign accounts today, we are giving him three months to get rid of these accounts," he said.

The bill Putin submitted to parliament was softer than one initiated within the legislature, which would have forbade officials from owning property abroad. Putin's bill also would allow officials to open foreign accounts through Russian banks.

Ivanov dismissed suspicion among critics who suspect the measures are mainly aimed more at bolstering Putin's image by portraying him as taking tough action to rein in a ruling elite, which many Russians see as corrupt.

"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," likening it to a "rust that eats away at the very foundations of statehood and public morals."

The campaign to bring money back to the motherland fits in with Putin's appeals for patriotism since he started a third term last May. He has also played to nostalgia for the Soviet era, when officials were afraid to flaunt what wealth they had.

It comes at a time of heightened tension between Russia and the West, fueled in part by anti-American rhetoric in the ruling United Russia party and persistent pressure on foreign-funded advocacy groups in Russia.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
April 02, 2013 9:54 PM
It was Mr Navalny who had been the first to launch widely supported campaign against corruption in Russia. Now Navalny is silenced by numerous charges and as if has disappeared from public eyes. But as by a miracle, help and support for Navalny’s initiated campaign comes from the FSB regime itself –from lips of a FSB general Sergey Ivanov, Mr. Putin’s chief of staff. After long 12 years delay !!! the regime “decided” to stem corruption. But I will predict what will happen with the new campaign. Absolutely nothing! All foreign bank accounts will be transferred to wives, children, girl-friends and other relatives. Everybody has already watched such “storms in a glass of water” many times.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs