The average sum of major bribes in Russia amounts to RUB 927,000 (USD 31,000), according to Russia’s Ministry of Interior. The average bribe now stands at RUB 27,000, which is three times more than in 2008. Alexander Nazarov, head of the ministry’s anti-corruption unit, said officials want to risk less, and therefore demand bigger bribes.
However, Georgy Satarov, president of the Moscow-based INDEM Foundation, casts doubts on the official figures. He points out that the ministry did not indicate what kind of corruption cases were included in the statistics. Taking into account everyday corruption, such as bribes given to traffic police, would inevitably result in a lower figure, he explained.
What is more, Mr Satarov noted, back in 2005, the average sum of a major bribe was USD 130,000. Whatever the actual figures, however, it is quite clear that the average sum of bribes is on the rise, including in business, he said. Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office has estimated that companies spend more than USD 33 billion (!) in bribes yearly.