Bribery in international business

Russia must make fighting international bribery a priority


25/10/17 – The OECD Working Group on Bribery has serious concerns regarding Russia’s continued failure to implement key legislative reforms to enable it to effectively investigate,  prosecute and sanction the offence of foreign bribery.


Since October 2013, when the Working Group conducted its Phase 2 Review of Russia’s implementation of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, it has repeatedly recommended that Russia make urgent changes to its Penal Code and other relevant laws for prohibiting Russian companies and individuals from bribing foreign public officials to obtain advantages in international business.


Priority recommendations include the need to amend Russia’s foreign bribery offence to cover basic foreign bribery methodologies, such as offering and promising bribes, bribes that benefit third parties, and bribery of foreign public officials. Russia must strengthen the laws regarding corporate liability for foreign bribery, in order to effectively implement the Convention. Russia is also required to eliminate a defence commonly known as “effective regret”, as it applies to foreign bribery.


Russia is encouraged to accelerate its legislative efforts, including the adoption of draft legislation to address some of the key recommendations regarding its foreign bribery offence, and adopt amendments to the Penal Code to establish further liability for false accounting connected with foreign bribery.  Progress in these key areas will be closely monitored by the Working Group. It is expected in particular that Russia implements legislative changes in the key areas by March 2018, as well as continuing in its efforts through further measures to make fighting international bribery a priority.


In March 2018, the Working Group will commence preparations for a high-level OECD mission to Russia, unless Russia satisfactorily implements the key recommendations by that time.


For further information, journalists are invited to contact Daisy Pelham of the OECD Anti-Corruption Division (;  +33 (0)1 45 24 90 81) or the OECD Media Division (; +33 (0)1 45 24 97 00).


For more information on the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in the Russian Federation, please visit:


Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.


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