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Corruption Called Top Problem for Russia at Davos

Corruption, bloated government, and the outdated political system were called the biggest challenges for Russia by a group of foreign investors, top Russian businessmen, and government officials who met Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Vedomosti reported.

At a breakfast hosted by Sberbank president German Gref, attendees were asked to vote electronically for what they considered to be the top challenge currently facing Russia. The meeting was attended by more than 100 people, including First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Central Bank deputy head Alexei Ulyukayev, Tatarstan president Rustam Minnikhanov, Rusnano head Anatoly Chubais, Lukoil president Vagit Alekperov, and former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Vedomosti reported.

The choices that received the most votes were "corruption," with 23.8 percent of attendees' votes, "oversized state sector" (17.5 percent), "obsolete political system" (16.2 percent), and "low effectiveness of government" (11.2 percent).

Kudrin, who appeared at protests in Moscow last month and has offered to mediate talks between the Kremlin and the opposition, said he chose "obsolete political system" and commented that "the transparency of authorities without competition can't exist," Marketwatch reported.

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