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Russian officials and MPs report their incomes

April 15, 2013, 10:48 UTC+3

Experts believe the declaration campaign does not guarantee that the information about civil servants is accurate and full

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President Putin, Premier Medvedev, vice-premiers and ministers have reported their incomes and property for 2012. According to the declarations, the president and the premier are far from being the richest. Some of their subordinates earn 20 and even 40 times more. Beside, the officials can boast about foreign property. However, experts believe the declaration campaign does not guarantee that the information about civil servants is accurate and full.

Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, according to the declarations made public last Friday, earned almost equally in 2012 the president's incomes amounted to a little more than 5.79 mln rbls, and the premier had 5.8 mln rbls, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.

Against the background of their subordinates, the top state figures' earnings look very moderate. For example, among the leaders in the Kremlin is the president's aide Yuri Trutnev, who declared 210.6 mln rbls and 600,000 of his wife's incomes. At the head of the list in the government is First Vice-Premier Igor Shuvalov with 226.4 mln rbls, and his wife has 222 mln rbls more. Among the ministers, the leader is Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, whose incomes amounted to 103.8 mln rbls, together with his wife, 106.6 mln rbls.

The newspaper notes that nobody of the public servants presented declarations of major spendings. Under the law. it will be obligatory beginning next year. This applies also to accounts in foreign banks. The draft law calling for the measures for Russian officials has not been adopted by the State Duma so far. For the time being, citizens can get to know what houses, land, cars, helicopters and snowmobiles Russian Olympus dwellers have.

The annual income declaration became obligatory for all the public servants several years ago, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta notes. However, the show anti-corruption procedure hardly can be considered effective enough. An example is the story of former agriculture minister Yelena Skrynnik, who in her declaration last year did not report the real estate in France. Maybe, if it was not for the investigation in the criminal case of embezzlement of 39 bln rbls in the state-run company Rosagroleasing, in which she was a witness, the information could be not made public.

The entire declaration campaign is of an operetta and show character, the newspaper cited an official close to the State Duma office as saying. If someone wants to conceal the information about property or accounts abroad, it will not be very hard. A house or a land plot can be registered as belonging to a distant relative or a firm registered in offshores.

Following the Kremlin officials and the government, Federation Council members on Saturday published the information about their incomes and spendings, the Komsomolskaya Pravda said. The wealthiest senator is the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area's representative Dmitry Ananyev. He earned 699.6 mln rbls over the year. The incomes of Ananyev's wife amounted to 58.9 mln. The second after him for incomes is senator from the Khanty-Mansi Area Viktor Pichugov who earned 523.5 mln in 2012. The third is Valery Ponomaryov, who represents the Kamchatka Territory in the upper house. His incomes totaled 456.5 mln rbls, according to the declaration.

The published data on incomes and property of Russian ministers, presidential administration officials and senators show that the most favourite country for the Russian power elite is Italy. The next is Spain, and the third are less sunny, but more stable Switzerland and Great Britain, the RBC daily writes.

Senators have more property abroad. No wonder that Federation Council members so sensitively took the draft law obliging to report such property in a declaration. The draft law is under consideration in the State Duma at present.

The obligatory income declaration by MPs is one of the most popular legislative initiatives in recent years, the newspaper notes. About 80 percent of Russians polled by the public opinion study centre know about the initiative. The ban on possession of foreign assets for legislators is also under discussion in the society. Only 21 percent of respondents admitted they heard about the idea for the first time.

Most Russians support the measures. The older respondents are, the more they support it. Among people aged from 18 to 24, 84 percent support the declaration, and among elderly people, 93 percent favour it.

"We conducted a similar poll about government officials, and at the time most also favoured tightened control over incomes and property," communication director of the all-Russia public opinion study centre Olga Kamenchuk said. “Another thing is that practically nobody of the respondents was interested in declarations themselves and did not try to find them in the Internet.” Citizens know about the draft laws in connection with the anti-corruption fight that has active coverage in media. Regrettably, many admit that they do not believe the declarations and are sure that officials and deputies can find a possibility to conceal undesired information, Kamenchuk noted.


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