MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. The fight against corruption in Russia requires time and efforts, but the state will go this way, and there should be no untouchable persons in this sphere, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Andrei Vandenko, the author of the TASS project Top Officials.
“I absolutely agree with you, this is one of the components,” Putin said in an response to a corresponding thesis. The president assumed that there are no untouchables in Russia now in this regard.
“I don’t know. It seemed to me there were none,” Putin said. “We need to seek to achieve this. If I see that such persons and situations appear, we’ll certainly struggle with this and react,” he promised.
Putin is convinced that the fight against corruption requires a complex approach. “We’ll have not only to tighten fiscal policy or law-enforcement sanctions. We need educative work and work for creating an effective, modern and certainly market system of relations in the economy, which should actually limit a possibility of the emergence of corruption,” he said.
The president said it is necessary to look at world best practices and introduce them. “Of course, this requires time, efforts, persistence and the will but we have no other way,” he stressed.
Putin noted that Russia has inherited the corruption problem from the past “when the administration at any level thought it had the right to do everything.” “Then something else was added to this, which only aggravated the situation. I mean non-transparent privatization. This was awful and this was a big mistake!” he said, acknowledging however that “we’re all clever persons with hindsight.”
“The non-transparent privatization made people think: well, if some are allowed to steal billions from the state, then why can’t we take away something cheaper? Why some are allowed and others are not?” he explained, adding that mentally all this has remained and has never got out of Russian people’s minds.
The president also noted that during the transition to a market economy no control instruments were created in the country. Therefore, the president sometimes has to observe strange situations even at large joint stock companies.
“It is believed that owners won’t steal from themselves. This is hardly so! They steal in large amounts. Why? Those who hold a controlling stake don’t very much want to share with minority shareholders. That is why, they create hundreds of schemes for the withdrawal of resources from companies. And this can be observed in many spheres!” the president explained.
According to Putin, there is no unbridgeable abyss between a market economy and state regulation. However, in the 1990s, many people perceived democracy and market as the denial of the law.
“When decisions were taken on the creation of market mechanisms and the functioning of society’s democratic institutions, we somehow forgot that democracy and a careless attitude to law were different stories. Law has to be observed by everyone,” he stressed.