Corruption in Russia is deeply entrenched and permeates all levels of Russian society. It causes significant financial loss to the Russian economy in terms of gross domestic product and considerably lowers the country’s attractiveness as a foreign direct investment destination. Despite a recent positive trend, as evidenced by various international indicators measuring the perception of corruption, Russia continues to lag far behind its G8 and G20 peers in the rankings.
The Russian leadership’s decision to step up its efforts to curb endemic corruption in Russia was prompted by its ambition to facilitate Russia’s further integration into the global economy, by obligations under international anti-corruption instruments and by commitments made within the G8 and G20.
In 2008, then-President Dmitri Medvedev signed an anti-corruption framework into law, and this has been repeatedly broadened and tightened. However, the fight against corruption has so far not made much headway. Law enforcement has remained ineffective and selective, allowing for impunity, notably among high-ranking officials, and even for politically motivated trials against anti-corruption whistleblowers such as the prominent lawyers Sergei Magnitsky and Alexei Navalny.
In connection with the trials initiated against the latter, the European Parliament expressed its deepest concern and recommended that the Council urge the Russian authorities to put an end to widespread corruption and to reform the judiciary in line with international standards.