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Council of Europe Urges Russia to Up Anti-Corruption Efforts

The Europa building, Brussels. Olivier Matthys / AP / TASS

The Council of Europe's anti-corruption council on Tuesday urged Russia to boost efforts against graft among members of its parliament, judges and prosecutors.

The European rights watchdog's GRECO anti-corruption body said there had been some progress, but "work is still needed."

"The transparency of the legislative process still needs strengthening, with public consultations on bills becoming the general rule rather than an option," GRECO said in its latest report.

It added "the executive power still has the possibility of initiating its own control of MPs' asset declarations, which remains a concern for the separation of powers."

Since the group's last report in 2017, Russia has complied with nine of out of 22 recommendations, and partly achieved another nine, GRECO said.

The group aims to improve its members' capacity to fight corruption through evaluation reports and peer pressure.

Membership is not limited to the Council of Europe and currently comprises 50 member states, including Belarus and the United States.

The Council of Europe, separate from the European Union, has no binding powers but brings together 47 member states including Russia and Turkey to make recommendations on rights and democracy.

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