Putin vows to root out corruption

Moscow, April 25 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his determination to carry on the Kremlin’s fight against corruption, while justifying the ongoing probe into a case of suspected defence ministry fraud totalling about $433 million.

Speaking at a live Q&A session with the Russian public Thursday, Putin said corruption on an everyday level was particularly pervasive in Russia and “presents a threat to society”.

“We will fight against it no less stubbornly than against inflation. We will kill it off,” he added.

The Transparency International global watchdog estimated the cost of corruption in Russia at $300 billion in 2012, placing Russia 133rd out of 174 countries in its Corruption Perceptions Index last year.

Putin also defended the investigation into a high-profile case of suspected fraud totalling over 13 billion rubles ($433 million) at the defence ministry.

He justified the probe into the case in which defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov was dismissed. Serdyukov has been questioned, but not charged, by investigators yet.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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