Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has moved to inject some moral fibre into the country’s top-level bureaucrats and state employees by giving them a three-month deadline to close their foreign bank accounts and divest themselves of offshore assets – or face the sack.
According to a new presidential decree, signed on Tuesday, thousands of Russian civil servants have until July 1 to file declarations of income and assets, which will be subject to stringent checks. No one would be above the law, said Sergei Ivanov, Mr Putin’s chief of staff, and anyone caught still in possession of the prohibited assets would be instantly dismissed.
“There are no untouchables and there cannot be any,” he said.
The decree is the president’s latest move to “de-offshore” Russia’s economy, a mission he outlined last December in a major policy address. According to a number of policy makers, the aim is not just to tackle corruption among the political elite – famed for its ability to extract and squirrel away vast sums – but also to make its members less vulnerable to foreign influence. Read More