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MOSCOW, December 7 (Itar-Tass) — Fighting corruption among officials can cause damage to the reputation of the authorities, but it is necessary to conduct it, even if some of the current leaders do not like it, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in a televised interview on Friday.
“Always, when the government presents the results of such (anti-corruption) work the society has a question: ‘And the other ones? How they comply with the law?’” Medvedev said. “These problems (no-confidence in the authorities in general) can arise,” he said.
“This is the choice for the authorities – to move away or go ahead,” the prime minister said. “We must move forward, despite the fact that someone would be displeased,” he believes.
The prime minister also urged to be cautious in the assessments. “To make a criminal case from that or other report it should be based on the combination of real facts, and not merely on allegations,” he said. “Until this talk (of corruption or theft in a particular department) is not turned into a combination of data obtained though the right procedure, you mustn’t even talk about it, because this way we can besmirch the whole state service,” Medvedev said. “Otherwise, this will create a feeling that all those working in the state service are dishonest, with sticky fingers, thieves, and not to be trusted,” he added.
Medvedev believes that in light of the recent corruption scandals, in particular around the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Agriculture, “the authorities have to suffer some reputational loss.” “You cannot always say that we are warm and fuzzy,” he said. “If there are facts, it is better to show them, better to be honest and admit mistakes and correct them,” said the prime minister.
The RF prime minister also said that several cases of suspected corruption violations have been reported to him. “The President, Prime Minister and other officials regularly receive reports on violations, but they still have to be proven in order to turn them into a set of criminal cases,” he said. “I’ve given instructions on a number of such reports; they have turned into criminal cases,” Medvedev said.