Transparency Intl: Corruption in Russia Getting Worse

Anti-bribery advertisement. Source: Mr7.ruCorruption in Russia has risen notably over the past year, according to a report released on Tuesday by the global civic organization Transparency International.

In the organization’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index, Russia’s transparency rating fell from last year’s 2.2 to 2.1, on a scale of 0.0 (“highly corrupt”) to 10.0 (“very clean”). Additionally, it’s country ranking fell from 146 out of 180 countries to 154 out of 178 countries, landing between Papua New Guinea and Tajikistan.

Within Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Russia was ranked 16 out of 20, with the only countries more corrupt listed as Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The organization estimates that the market for corruption in Russia is worth $300 billion a year.

While authors of the report did not comment on individual countries, they advised overall that “governments need to integrate anti-corruption measures in all spheres, from their responses to the financial crisis and climate change to commitments by the international community to eradicate poverty” in order to combat corruption.

Political commentator Anton Orekh responded to the report by saying that Russia would continue to fall in the ratings “until honest people become the most powerful ones in the country.”

“To say it plainly, take away the bureaucrats’ unlimited authorities, leave them with only the most necessary functions, and you will defeat corruption,” said Orekh. “Because corruption is the way of life for parasites, and our bureaucrats have become precisely parasites.”

The countries ranked in the report as the most transparent were Denmark, New Zealand, and Singapore, while Somalia, Myanmar, and Afghanistan were seen as the most corrupt. The United States came in at 22nd place, and China at 78th.

Transparency International noted that since “corruption – whether frequency or amount – is to a great extent a hidden activity that is difficult to measure,” the level of the perception of corruption in any given country was chosen as a telling alternative. “Over time, perceptions have proved to be a reliable estimate of corruption,” says the organization.