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Putin introduces bill on denouncing Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, leaving GRECO — Meduza

Putin introduces bill on denouncing Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, leaving GRECO — Meduza

Russian President Vladimir Putin has introduced a bill on denouncing the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and terminating Russia’s membership in the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body.

The convention was ratified by Russia on January 27, 1999. GRECO members commit to criminalizing corruption and implementing measures against it.

An explanatory note submitted with the new bill to the State Duma suggests that denouncing the convention is being prompted by the Council of Europe’s decision to terminate Russia’s voting rights within GRECO, even as its obligations under the convention remain the same:

Given that such conditions are unacceptable to the Russian Federation, and also with the aim of preventing discriminatory treatment of the Russian Federation within the evaluative framework of GRECO, it is proposed to denounce the convention and terminate [Russia’s] membership in GRECO.

The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the bill will not impact Russia’s internal anti-corruption measures: “This doesn’t in any way undermine our own legislative potential in fighting corruption,” he said, adding:

We cannot say that we’ve eradicated it — this problem has not been solved anywhere in the world — but this work will continue.

Having launched an invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia began to withdraw from international organizations, conventions, and programs. In March, Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe. In April, the UN General Assembly suspended its membership in the UN Human Rights Council. In June, Russia left the Bologna higher-education framework. In September, it ceased to be a party to the European Convention on Human Rights.

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