Government blocks ban on foreign ownership by state officials

According to Kommersant (9 October 2012), the government has called for a “radical revision by the second reading” of the draft law that would allegedly have imposed a complete ban on ownership of foreign assets and bank accounts by state officials.

This is apparently due to the government’s concern that “additional bans” would prevent the state bureaucracy from attracting highly qualified specialists from the private sector.

So in the end a law will be adopted that will have no force whatsoever, stipulating that an official may not have a foreign bank account, with certain exceptions (FSB/KGB agents, individuals requiring the bank accounts to exercise their functions, etc.), but may own foreign property that he/she inherited.

How will this law affect all those state officials who boast about the properties they own in London and rent out? How will the law be enforced? How will the authorities ascertain ownership, as presumably such bureaucrats operate various offshore companies, with stooges operating for them?

In other words, a watered down law will be published purely for foreign consumption  in the hope that Russia will no longer languish at the bottom of countries perceived to suffer from high levels of corruption.

As they say, plus ca change….

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