18 April 2012 at 11:49 BST

Russia signs anti-bribery deal

Russia has become the latest member of a leading international anti-bribery club - a move that will elicit some scepticism and bemusement from many global lawyers practising in the jurisdiction.

Putin says 'no'

The country today became the 39th to sign the fraud-busting agreement of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. On its face, the decision by Moscow to join the OECD’s anti-bribery convention is a major step towards incorporating the Russian economy into the developed world’s business regime.

Pat on back

And the Putin administration received a significant official pat on the back for its efforts. Nicola Bonnucci, the Paris-based OECD’s director of legal affairs and the co-chairman of the anti-corruption committee of the International Bar Association, applauded the development as he launched an anti-corruption conference for lawyers in Moscow today.
An IBA statement added that Moscow’s decision ‘represents a major milestone for Russia in upholding international anti-bribery standards and marks another step forward for the G-20 anti-corruption action plan’.

Sceptics

Russia originally signalled its intention to join the OECD convention in February. But there will be sceptics who suggest that far from being a poster child for anti-bribery, Russian business – and elements of its judiciary -- is still blighted by wholesale corruption. Indeed, the OECD itself points out that bribing public officials was only made illegal in Russia less than a year ago.
The organisation’s 13-year-old anti-bribery convention aims to clamp down on the bribing of foreign public officials in international business transactions in the OECD’s 34 member countries. In addition, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria and South Africa are parties to the convention.
 
   
 
 
 

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