Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"Russia Proposes Easing Laws On Corruption, Saying It's Unavoidable Sometimes"

Shades of Viktor Chernomyrdin, former Russian Prime Minister and former chairman of Gazprom:
"We meant to do better, but it came out as always"
From National Public Radio (U.S.), January 29:
Russia's Ministry of Justice is proposing a change to make some corrupt acts exempt from punishment, if the corruption is found to be unavoidable. The proposed rule says officials and public figures could be exempt if "objective circumstances" made it impossible for them to comply with corruption laws.

Corruption that is "due to force majeure is not an offense," the proposal states. But it does not go into detail about the circumstances under which conflicts of interest, bribery, fraud and other offenses might be decriminalized.

The proposed rule, which is published online, was created to fulfill a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin last year. Because of that order, several federal agencies are now working to amend Russia's corruption laws, with the Justice Ministry leading the effort along with the ministries of labor and internal affairs and the public prosecutors' office.

The proposal is currently in a 15-day public comment period that opened Friday and will close on Feb. 8.

News of the corruption proposal is making headlines in Russia as the group Transparency International releases its annual Corruption Perceptions Index, which gives Russia a score of 28 out of 100 (with 100 being least corrupt)....MORE
Some other Viktorisms that have graced our pages, most via Foreign Policy:

On his background as energy minister: "I have grown up in the atmosphere of oil and gas."

On dealing with the frequently uncooperative Duma: "Government is not the organ in which one uses his tongue only."

On Russia's unstable party system: "Whatever party we establish, it always turns out to be the Soviet Communist Party."

On his critics: "If your hands are itchy, scratch yourselves in other spots."

On the future: "We will live so well that our children and grandchildren will envy us!"

On Ukraine's Orange Revolution:  "American ears are sticking out everywhere."

On his family: "I have approximately two sons."

On political efficiency: "We accomplished all items: from A to B."

On women: "You can't scare a woman with high-heeled shoes."

On language: I can talk to anyone in any language, but I try not to use that instrument."

On the life of the mind: "I am far from thought."...

Back in 2010 upon word of his death we posted:
"I liked that '...turned out as always' line and apparently other folks did too, the first three hits on a Google search turn up the three times I used it." 
Time passes on and now Climateer Investing only has two of the first ten usages of the quote but it still exemplifies an attitude that is quintessentially Russian.