01/11/2023, 11.04
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Moscow rescinds international convention against corruption

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Moscow signed it in 1999. Corruption became a 'social norm', a behaviour not liable to punishment. About 10 years ago, Aleksej Naval'nyj's anti-corruption protests began. Putin completes the campaign in defence of his supporters. It is genetic mutation of the penal code with new forms of 'immunity' for the powerful.

Moscow (Asia) - President Putin has proposed that the Duma approve a new draft law on the 'denonsatsija' (denunciation-rescinding) of international agreements arising from the Convention on Criminal Liability for Corruption.

It is the first of the 48 countries that signed it in 1999 to pull out, accentuating international isolation, but above all accepting corruption as a 'social norm', a behaviour not liable to punishment.

Putin's war, which today rages in Ukraine, had begun 10 years ago at home against the youth protests, animated by Aleksej Naval'nyj's Anti-Corruption Fund, which today languishes in the Melekhovo lager, in increasingly poor health.

The corrupt system of oligarchs and criminal gangs is the real reaction to the 'Western depravity', which forced people to submit to very strict rules in order to be admitted to international markets.

In fact, the new law states that the reason for the rejection of the convention lies in Russia's marginalisation from the 'Greco', the Group of States Against Corruption, decided by the Council of Europe on 23 March, a month after the invasion of Ukraine.

The members of the group are the countries that signed the 1999 agreements, but the aggression deprived Russia of the right to assess the activities of other countries.

The new Putin law denounces such 'discrimination' against Russia, which leads to 'false accusations' against its officials and entrepreneurs. It also puts an end to all investigations against the misdeeds of the power caste in Russia, after stifling and persecuting any media that denounced them with laws on 'foreign agents', and the closure of associations active in the social field.

The campaigns against 'Putin's palaces', Medvedev's shoes and villas and the luxury of so many powerful people have thus provoked the regime's internal and external 'revenge'.

The latest scandal in recent days had been the expose of secret funds belonging to the family of the governor of St. Petersburg, Aleksandr Beglov, and in recent weeks the hidden properties worth several million of the commander of Russian troops in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin, had been revealed.

On New Year's Eve, Putin had already given a 'gift' to his most loyal subjects by releasing state officials from the obligation to file tax returns 'during the course of the special military operation'. As the current head of the Naval'nyj Fund in exile, Ivan Ždanov, wrote on Twitter, 'the next step will be the inclusion of corruption as a constitutional norm'.

According to the Navalnists, the current generation in power is growing increasingly depressingly old, and 'they have no other methods of keeping themselves in power, they don't need democratic mechanisms,' Ždanov comments.

The purpose of the Anti-Corruption Convention was to unify criminal sanctions against this social scourge, allowing member countries to help each other find the means to fight it across borders, but today 'all these mechanisms have been thrown into the pit', notes Ilja Šumanov, director of Transparency International-Russia, assuring that 'we can forget about any exchange of information'.

The Greek will no longer have any way of monitoring Russia's compliance with even the minimum standards of fairness in financial transactions and business schemes, a further sign of Russia's 'non-submission to international standards' at all levels.

The denonsatsija comes into force three months after the announcement, and by spring the real consequences of Putin's decision, which will deprive Russian citizens of any means of defence against the prevailing corruption, will begin to be seen. It will be a 'genetic mutation of the penal code', assures Šumanov, with new forms of 'immunity' of the privileged and powerful.

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