Russia Signs OECD's Anti-Bribery Convention

01 February 2012 Publication
On February 1, 2012, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law Russia's accession to the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention. The law was passed by Russia's Duma, the lower house of the legislature, on January 13, 2012, and was ratified by the Federation Council, the upper house of the legislature, on January 25, 2012. In evaluating Russia's bid to join the Convention, the OECD's working group noted that the Russian law entitled “Federal Law dated May 4, 2011 No. 97-FZ On inclusion of changes to the Criminal Code of Russian Federation and to the Code of Administrative Offences in Connection with the Improvement of Government Administration in the Area of Fighting Corruption,” which President Medvedev signed on May 4, 2011, satisfies the requirements of the Convention. Russian Law No. 97-FZ changed the then existing anti-bribery provisions in the Criminal and Administrative Codes of Russia by significantly increasing monetary fines for bribery and was made applicable to both commercial bribery as well as bribery of foreign government officials. Because Law No. 97-FZ prohibits commercial bribery and both receiving and offering corrupt payments to foreign government officials, the law resembles the UK Bribery Act and can be said to have even further reach than the FCPA.