The Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body GRECO published today its fourth assessment of the measures taken by the Russian authorities since the previous examination in June 2018 to implement the outstanding recommendations on incriminations and transparency of party funding. GRECO regrets that no tangible progress has been made.
GRECO notes with concern that seven years after the recommendations on incriminations were provided, the State Duma still has not adopted the draft federal laws meant to address the outstanding recommendations on criminalising corruption, and the Criminal Code has not been amended. GRECO urges the authorities to ensure that the legislative process is completed without delay.
As for the recommendations on transparency of political funding, GRECO welcomes that overall a number of steps have been taken to improve transparency, such as the amendments to the Federal Law “On Political Parties”, the Federal Law “On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right to Participate in Referendums of Citizens of the Russian Federation”, and the reform of the Code of Administrative Offences. GRECO has also taken note of the analysis by the Russian authorities of the complaints about the abuse of official position received ahead and during the presidential elections (December 2017 – April 2018). According to the review, the CEC received 143,651 complaints of which 417 (0.3%) concerned possible abuse of official status, but only for 9 complaints the information was partially confirmed, and no complaint was related to the misuse of official status in election campaign funding. GRECO has misgivings about the results of the reviews showing that, out of all the complaints received by different competent public bodies, there had been no established cases of misuse of public office at all. This is somewhat at odds with GRECO’s findings that this appeared to be a widespread problem. Besides, clear provisions determining the commencement of “campaigning period” are still missing.