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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Falls 22 Places in TI Index

Russia has fallen 22 places in this year's global survey of corruption perceptions by Transparency International, which said the government had done little to stem corruption.

The report, released Wednesday, also said the promise of hefty returns often led investors to overlook the risks.

Russia placed 143, level with Indonesia, Gambia and Togo in this year's survey. Russia placed 121 last year.

"In terms of claiming they are out to fight corruption, our politicians are fantastic. But in terms of real measures, it's hardly the same," said Yelena Panfilova, Transparency International's Russia director.

The group's annual report showed the country's score had fallen to 2.3 out of a possible 10 in 2007 from 2.5 last year, a change, Panfilova said, which was within the margin of statistical error.

Asked at a news conference how former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, who resigned Sept. 12, had performed in fighting corruption, Panfilova replied: "I would love to evaluate the anti-corruption activity of Prime Minister Fradkov, but unfortunately I never noticed any. So it's hard for me to give a definitive example of what he did."

The tremendous opportunity for profits often outweighed the fear international investors might have felt, Panfilova said.

"There are some investors who know that either you play by the local rules and get a big piece of profit, or you lose competitiveness in choosing not to give out bribes," she said.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov has pledged to set up a special anti-corruption task force. His son-in-law, Anatoly Serdyukov, resigned as defense minister to avoid a possible conflict of interests, though his resignation was not accepted.