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Specific offences and restrictions
What are the key corruption and bribery offences in your jurisdiction?
The following are the key corruption and bribery offences in Russia:
- Unlawful remuneration on behalf of a legal entity – Article 19.28 of the Administrative Offences Code prohibits the bribery of Russian or foreign civil servants or state officials or executives of commercial or other organisations to induce them to use their authority to act in favour of a legal entity.
- Bribery in commercial organisations – Articles 204 and 204.2 of the Criminal Code prohibits the giving to and taking of bribes by executives of commercial or other organisations in connection with their positions in these organisations.
- Mediation in bribery in commercial organisations – Article 204.1 of the Criminal Code prohibits the direct transfer of bribes to executives of commercial or other organisations on a considerable scale (ie, exceeding Rb25,000, approximately $400) on instructions by the bribe giver or bribe taker, as well as promises and proposals of such transfers.
- Bribe taking by civil servants – Articles 290 and 291.2 of the Criminal Code prohibits the taking of bribes by Russian or foreign civil servants or state officials to induce them to use their authority to act in favour of the bribe giver.
- Bribe giving to civil servants – Articles 291 and 291.2 of the Criminal Code prohibits the giving of bribes to Russian or foreign civil servants or state officials.
- Mediation in bribery of civil servants – Article 291.1 of the Criminal Code prohibits the direct transfer of bribes to Russian or foreign civil servants or state officials on a considerable scale (ie, exceeding Rb25,000, approximately $400) on instructions by the bribe giver or bribe taker, as well as promises and proposals of such transfers.
Are specific restrictions in place regarding the provision of hospitality (eg, gifts, travel expenses, meals and entertainment)? If so, what are the details?
Prohibition of gifts exceeding Rb3,000 in relationships between commercial organisations
Article 575(1) of the Civil Code prohibits any gifts – except for common gifts with a value of up to Rb3,000 (approximately $50) – in relations between commercial organisations. Since under Russian law any benefits transferred to the donee qualify as a gift (Article 572(1) of the Civil Code), this prohibition also extends to travel expenses, meals, entertainment and other hospitality costs.
Transactions performed in violation of Article 575(1) of the Civil Code are generally considered to be void. Thus, the received benefits must theoretically be returned or compensated by the donee (Article 167(2) of the Civil Code). In practice, the prohibition on gifts with a value of more than Rb3,000 is reflected in the Russian companies’ compliance regulations. Violations of these restrictions may then also have adverse labor law consequences for the relevant employees.
Even if the transfer of the gift does not violate Article 575(1) of the Civil Code (ie, the gift is common and its value does not exceed Rb3,000), such transaction may still be subject to liability under the Criminal Code if it was performed with criminal intent.
General prohibition of receipt of gifts by civil servants and state officials
Russian legislation generally prohibits the receipt by Russian civil servants and state officials of any remuneration in connection with the performance of their duties from individuals or legal entities (including gifts, money, loans, services, entertainment costs and travel expenses).
A civil servant is any individual professionally exercising state functions at the federal, regional or municipal level, according to Federal Law 58-FZ on the System of State Service in the Russian Federation, Federal Law 79-FZ on Public Service of the Russian Federation, Federal Law 76-FZ on the Status of Military Personnel and Federal Law 25-FZ on Municipal Service in the Russian Federation. The term ‘state official’ extends to a limited number of individuals who directly exercise state powers at the federal level or the level of the 85 subjects of the Russian Federation.
The general prohibition to accept gifts does not apply to gifts received by Russian civil servants and state officials in connection with protocol events, business trips and other official events. However, gifts received at such occasions are deemed to be state property and subject to transfer to the relevant state body (eg, Article 17(1)(6) of Federal Law 79-FZ on Public Service of the Russian Federation).
General prohibition of receipt of gifts by employees of state corporations
According to Article 349.1 of the Labour Code and Article 2(b) of Order of the Russian Government 841 of August 21 2012, the general prohibition to receive gifts is extended to certain positions in state corporations and state companies.
State corporations and state companies are non-commercial organisations which are set up by the Russian Federation under a federal law (Articles 7.1 and 7.2 of the Law on Non-commercial Organisations). Examples for state corporations include:
- Roscosmos; and
Commercial organisations with a majority participation by the Russian state (eg, Gazprom Public Joint Stock Company and Rosneft Oil Company) do not qualify as state corporations or companies in the meaning of Article 349.1 of the Labour Code. However, they are still subject to the restrictions of Article 575(1) of the Civil Code and potentially to the even stricter requirements under the organisation's internal compliance regulations.
Administrative and criminal liability
The violation of the above-listed restrictions regarding the granting and receiving of gifts does not entail any administrative or criminal liability. Such liability would require the completion of additional elements of an administrative or criminal offence, in particular criminal intent. The scope of the penalties under the Administrative Offences Code and the Criminal Code depends on the amount of the bribe sum.
Best practice in Russia is the adoption by an organisation of internal compliance regulations incorporating:
- the prohibition of granting and receiving gifts exceeding Rb3,000 in relationships between commercial organisations, according to Article 575(1) of the Civil Code; and
- the general prohibition of granting any gifts to Russian civil servants and state officials or employees of state corporations and companies.
The adoption of such internal compliance regulations is one of the anti-corruption measures to be mandatorily undertaken by each organisation operating in Russia, according to Article 13.3 of the Anti-Corruption Law.
What are the rules relating to facilitation payments?
There are no specific rules under Russian law regulating facilitation payments. Such payments are therefore subject to the general rule on the prohibition of gifts whose value exceeds Rb3,000 (approximately $50) in relationships between commercial organisations and the penalties for unlawful remuneration and bribery under the Administrative Offences Code and the Criminal Code.
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