Russia Joins the Anti-Bribery Convention
Russia has joined the Anti-Bribery Convention of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at a ceremony at OECD headquarters in Paris on Friday. At the ceremony, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Denisov handed the ratification documentation to Angel Gurria, the OECD Secretary General. By joining the convention, Russia has agreed to regular reviews of its implementation of anti-corruption laws.
Within 60 days of the accession ceremony, Russia will officially become the 39th party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials.
“Accession will harmonize our legal system with international standards in the fight against corruption” Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said last week.
By joining the convention, Russia’s anti-bribery laws will be systematically examined in the first of the 22 OECD reviews that will assess the country’s readiness to join the Organization. In early May of 2011, Russia criminalized bribing of foreign officials, prompting OECD to invite Russia to participate in the Working Group on Bribery, prior to becoming a Party to the Convention.
Russia applied for membership in the OECD in 1996, at which time the Organization stated that Russia’s accession was a shared future goal. A high-level Liaison Committee was established in order to strengthen the cooperation between the Russian Federation and the OECD. Commenting on Russia’s accession to the Anti-Bribery convention, an OECD expert told Itar-Tass news that “This event is a key step towards Russia’s full membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”
The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention was signed in 1997 and entered into force in 1999. The convention is implemented through country monitoring and peer follow up, with the goal of ensuring fair business competition between participating countries.
A total of 34 OECD member countries are parties to the Convention and there are four non-member countries like Russia including Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria and South Africa.