25/05/2011 - The OECD will today invite the Russian Federation to join the OECD’s Working Group on Bribery and to accede to the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention. Secretary-General Angel Gurría will sign an exchange of letters with First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrey Denisov, and Russia’s Minister for Economic Development, Elvira Nabiullina, at a ceremony with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting.
“This is a significant milestone in Russia’s accession to the OECD,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “It underlines the political priority that the Russian government has given to its fight against bribery and corruption.”
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed at the beginning of May 2011 legislation that clearly criminalised foreign bribery, with a significant increase in the monetary sanctions for companies and individuals who bribe foreign public officials to gain business advantages (read the press release). Following the invitation today, the Russian parliament will now proceed to approve the country’s accession to the OECD Convention.
Like all members of the Working Group on Bribery and in accordance with its procedure, Russia will undergo detailed reviews of its anti-bribery laws to confirm that they meet the Convention’s standards and that these laws are effectively implemented.
Russia’s membership of the Working Group also marks another step forward in the G20 Action Plan, supported by the OECD, for “combating corruption, promoting market integrity and supporting a clean business environment”.
The Convention, which entered into force in 1999, outlaws the bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions. Through country monitoring and extensive peer-led follow-up, the OECD Convention seeks to ensure that the fight against bribery is effective, thus creating a level playing field for fair competition. Since the Convention came into force, 199 individuals and 91 companies have been sanctioned for foreign bribery offenses.
The 34 OECD member countries plus Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria and South Africa are Parties to the Convention.
Journalists are invited to contact Spencer Wilson of the OECD’s Media Division (tel. +33 1 45 24 81 18).
>> For more information on OECD’s work to fight corruption, visit www.oecd.org/corruption
>> For more OECD work on Russia, please visit: www.oecd.org/russia
>> Read the remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton here