[JURIST] Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [official profile] has signed a measure to establish an anti-corruption council to be headed by Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin [profile, in Russian], Medvedev announced at a Monday press conference [remarks]. Medvedev said that a comprehensive national anti-corruption program was necessary to tackle social and economic graft and also to eliminate a prevailing culture of corruption. Medvedev has previously vowed to clean up corruption in his inauguration speech [JURIST report]. RIA Novosti has more.
Corruption is an on-going problem in Russia. In 2006, Transparency International [advocacy website], an anti-corruption advocacy group, reported that incidents of corrupt activity were up to seven times more prevalent that year than they were in 2001. Bribes totaling $240 billion are taken by corrupt officials in Russia [JURIST news archive] on a yearly basis, according to a report by a senior Russian prosecutor earlier that year.