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High-Ranking Officials' Expense Declarations Suspect, Ivanov Says

Checks of state officials' income and expense reports have shown that high-ranking government and law enforcement employees have been providing false information about their assets.

Head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov told reporters at the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg that there were "a few" instances of violations, though he declined to identify any specific cases.

When asked about the level of those providing inaccurate information, Ivanov replied that it was "high enough," RIA Novosti reported.

In May President Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting high-ranking government employees from owning assets abroad or holding foreign bank accounts. The law, which affects legislators, regional leaders and the directors of state-owned companies, gave officials until the mid-August to either liquidate their foreign investments or resign their posts.

Government employees must give reports on their expenses, including real estate, stock and car purchases. Officials' spouses and children, in whose names accounts and assets are often registered to bypass declaration rules, are also covered by the ban. Failure to provide accurate information is grounds for dismissal.

The law has caused several wealthy legislators to give up their positions. Andrei Guriyev, who owns a majority in the fertilizer company Phosagro and has a net worth of $4 billion, left his post in the Federation Council and said he wanted to spend more time working on his business.

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