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Punishment for corruption must be inevitable - Putin

December 15, 2011, 16:10 UTC+3

“It is not the toughness of punishment but its inevitability that is the main thing,” the prime minister emphasized

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MOSCOW, December 15 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has pledged to continue a tough fight against corruption.

During a question-and-answer session, anchorman Vladimir Solovyov recalled Putin’s appeals to imprison corrupt officials and asked whether imprisonments will begin. So let us start with you, media people, Putin joked.

“Many people have appealed to me concerning media using its monopoly situation in certain segments in order to settle economic issues among many others,” Putin said. He added that corruption can exist at all levels of power, as well as in media, the education and healthcare sectors. “This is a trouble of the whole society,” he stressed.

“But the desire to swim on the crest of the wave, to be liked and, I am sorry, to shut down somebody, put somebody behind bars at any cost demonstrating one’s toughness – is the most simple thing that a person in my position could do,” Putin said.

He reminded the audience that over 4,000 criminal proceedings have been instituted over the recent years in connection with bribes and corruption. “Three hundred of them have been brought to court, and dozens of people have been convicted,” Putin said, adding that the regime is interested in clearing itself. “But no great campaign is admissible here,” he stressed.

According to him, there are cases in which governors go to prison and serve their term in full. People “in the rank of deputy minister” are also imprisoned. “In this case work must be done toughly, rhythmically and consistently, instead of being produced as achievements for the sake of current political environment,” Putin stressed.

“It is not the toughness of punishment but its inevitability that is the main thing,” the prime minister emphasized.

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