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Putin vows to defeat rampant corruption


20:50, April 25, 2013

MOSCOW, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The scale of corruption in Russia exceeded "all imaginable levels" and directly threatened society, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

"We are going to counter it (corruption) with the same steadiness as we suppress inflation. We will be defeating it to the best of our abilities," Putin said during his first question-and-answer session with the public since returning to the Kremlin last May.

He disagreed with a person in the studio who suggested some of the anti-corruption bills passed by the parliament recently had been overly strict.

On Wednesday, the State Duma, or lower house of parliament, passed a bill obliging high-ranking officials and state servants to turn over their foreign accounts, shares and other financial tools to Russia within three months.

"I believe there is nothing excessive in it," Putin insisted.

Meanwhile, Putin said, if state officials saved their money in Russian banks, they would help improve the national financial system.

"Let them make a decision, what is more important for them, to save money abroad or to work in their high posts," Putin said.

He said more than 800 high-ranking officials had been brought to justice for various corruption-related offenses in 2012.

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