Russia improves its ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index

According to Elena Panfilova, the vice-chair of Transparency International, corruption is down in Russia because as a result of the crisis.

According to Elena Panfilova, the vice-chair of Transparency International, corruption is down in Russia because as a result of the crisis.

Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
Corruption declines because crisis "burned" money for bribes.

In the annual ranking of the Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International, a German-based non-governmental corruption monitor, Russia has risen from 136th to 119th place sharing this position with Azerbaijan, Guyana and Sierra Leone. All three countries received a similar score – 29 out of 100. This is Russia’s best result since 2012, when the organization moved to a 100-point rating system. In 2014, Russia came in 136th place, along with Nigeria and Lebanon.

According to Elena Panfilova, the vice-chair of Transparency International, corruption is down in Russia because as a result of the crisis, those that used to give bribes to officials have no extra money to give.

“There was less money and the mechanism of declaration [officials' incomes and foreign property], in general, is working,” she said to the Kommersant newspaper. According to Panfilova, Russia moved closer to a group of countries that are objectively more similar.

According to Alexander Brechalov, the head of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, over the past two years efficiency in the fight against corruption in Russia has significantly increased.

“The reason is not only in the number of officials convicted for corruption crimes,” says Brechalov to the Kommersant newspaper. “The outlines of a system of work involving citizens have appeared.”

Brechalov sees the All-Russia Popular Front, a group associated with the political party United Russia, as playing a main role. “Civil servants, starting with the heads of municipalities to governors and ministers now understand that just ignoring and concealing corruption will fail, that everything will be revealed.”

Overall this year’s report by Transparency International was optimistic.  

“(The year) 2015 showed that people working together can succeed in fighting corruption,” according to Transparency International on its website. “Although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in 2015 than declined.”

Based on expert opinion, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide.

In this rating, countries are ranked on a scale from 0 to 100, with zero indicating the highest level of perceived corruption and 100 being the lowest one. The list is topped by Denmark with 91 points, with Finland and Sweden in second and third places (90 and 89 points respectively). Canada came in 9th, the UK at 10th and the U.S. at 16th. For the fourth year in a row North Korea and Somalia tied for last place on the list of 168 countries with eight points.

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