Russia’s new President Dmitri Medvedev threw down the gauntlet against the country’s rampaging corruption on Wednesday, which he declared “public enemy number one”.
Speaking to the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, Medvedev warned that bribe-taking has become a way of life for Russian officialdom that now threatens the country’s national security.
And he urged lawmakers to quickly pass a draconian set of anti-corruption laws. “Russia should start the new year with modern anti-corruption legislation,” he said.
Russia’s chief prosecutor has estimated that corruption siphoned off $120 billion from the country’s economy last year, or about 10 per cent of gross domestic product. Independent analysts put the figure much higher, at $300 billion or more.