OECD Working Group on Bribery: Russia Ready for its Phase 3 Evaluation
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OECD Working Group on Bribery: Russia Ready for its Phase 3 Evaluation

Provided that Russia further aligns its foreign bribery offense with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention by October 2020. 

OECD Working Group on Bribery: Russia Ready for its Phase 3 Evaluation

By IndraStra Global News Team

According to the latest press statement released by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), its Working Group on Bribery considers that it is ready to conduct the Phase 3 evaluation of the Russian Federation, provided that Russia further aligns its foreign bribery offense with the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (OECD Anti-Bribery Convention) by October 2020.

Russia became the 39th Party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention on 17 April 2012. Since then, the Working Group (made up of the 36 OECD Member countries plus Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Russia, and South Africa – comprises the Parties to the Anti-Bribery Convention) has conducted several evaluations of Russia’s implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and issued a number of recommendations to align Russia’s legal framework with the Convention’s requirements and to urge Russia to actively enforce its foreign bribery offense.

While Russia has fully implemented certain recommendations, many remain outstanding, most concerningly those on the scope of the foreign bribery offense. For this reason, the Working Group organized a High-Level Mission to Moscow in April 2019 to convey its serious concerns and discuss the status of Russia’s progress. During the High-Level Mission, the Russian Federation reported that it had begun investigating, for the first time, potential foreign bribery offenses.

The Working Group considers these updates to be encouraging signs, and it is prepared to conduct the Russian Federation’s Phase 3 evaluation by October 2021; provided that the Russian Federation implements a high-priority recommendation on (i) expanding the scope of the offense of foreign bribery, to include the “promising” and “offering” of a bribe as offenses and (ii) eliminating the defenses of effective regret and economic extortion for foreign bribery.

During the Phase 3 evaluation, the Working Group will closely examine the Russian Federation’s enforcement of its foreign bribery offense as well as all of the outstanding recommendations that remain from the Phase 1 and Phase 2 evaluations.

The Russian Federation will report back by October 2020 on its full implementation of the high-priority recommendation, after which the Phase 3 evaluation can proceed as scheduled. The Working Group would also welcome receiving updates on Russia’s progress implementing other outstanding recommendations.

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