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MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. The number of officials in Russia held accountable for corruption has grown in recent years, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev has told a meeting of State Duma members representing the United Russia faction.
"The number of Russian nationals, namely, officials, held criminally liable… for corruption delinquencies has grown by 7%," the minister said, adding that more vigorous efforts were needed to tackle the issue.
Kolokoltsev noted that corruption should be fought, first and foremost, by enhancing regulatory enforcement rather than by toughening penalties. Fighting corruption is a priority issue for Russia’s Interior Ministry personnel, he added.
Earlier on Monday, Vladimir Kolokoltsev supported the initiative of chairperson of the State Duma Security Committee Irina Yarovaya to toughen criminal liability for the embezzlement of public funds. According to him, such crimes should entail a real prison term. "Perhaps, one should get a ten-year prison term for such crimes instead of three or four years of conditional sentence," he said, noting that "punishment should be proportional to the severity of a crime".