As reported in The Moscow Times on 19 October 2012, for some reason the police have arrested TNK-BP head of government relations Igor Korneyev, who was allegedly caught trying to sell positions, including that of head of the internal affairs department of the presidential administration. He had been seeking USD 3 million for each positions.
It is bizarre to see this kind of corruption reported by the Russian authorities, as it has been well-known by political analysts and other consultants that positions have always been up for sale to the highest bidder for the past decade at least, with ministerial posts among the most expensive.
If this is part of a new goal to appear more transparent and crack down on such practices, it would be good to see the authorities report on the number of instances where such practices have been stamped out in the past.
The next question that arises, of course, is why someone would be willing to pay USD 3 million for a position? Presumably, the perks of the job and the ability to influence various tenders/procurement programmes, including a percentage of the final bid or other kickbacks, which are so prevalent among bureaucrats Russia, as demonstrated by the number owning properties in Europe and the USA, which would be not affordable on the basis of their official salaries. If you pay USD 3 million, you expect to recover far more during your time as a Kremlin official.