Presidential aide links poor investment climate to corruption

Arkady DvorkovichMOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's poor investment climate is a result of rampant state corruption, excessive red tape and an inefficient judicial system, Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich said on Friday.

"When it comes to the investment me the most important assessment is that of the president, who described Russia's investment climate as 'very poor' at the end of last year," Dvorkovich said at a press conference on Friday.

The aide stressed that the problems that exist in certain branches of the political and legal system should not be used as an excuse for neglecting the economic sphere.

"This approach is senseless and damaging. [We] should work and do our best to improve the situation in all directions every day, every year and until it becomes perfect," Dvorkovich concluded.

He also said that measures to combat corruption and improve the investment climate were being taken.

"We are assessing the possibilities of implementing several plans, including the establishment of an international financial center and a comfortable investment environment, not just in Skolkovo, but in other areas of Russia too," Dvorkovich said.

On Thursday Medvedev vowed to develop a set of measures to combat corruption in the country's courts.

The Berlin-based non-governmental anti-corruption organization Transparency International has persistently rated Russia one of the most corrupt nations in the world. In the 2009 Corruption Perception Index, Russia was ranked 146th of 180, below countries like Togo, Pakistan and Libya. The United States was ranked 19th.

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