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Medvedev urges strict public control over incomes of officials

Hands Holding Open Envelope Filled with CashGORKI, January 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday instructed the national Public Chamber to make sure the incomes of state officials match their income declarations.

"[You] should pay attention to one more issue related to corruption - public control over the incomes of state officials," the president said at meeting with the members of the Public Chamber.

The incomes of state officials "have always aroused genuine interest among our people," Medvedev added.

"You and I understand that it is not very difficult to file a formal declaration, it is much more important that this declaration reflects the real income," the president said.

"The world has developed the knack of doing this, we also must get engaged in it on state level ... I think, this is important," he said.

Shortly after coming to office in 2008, Medvedev declared corruption the number one threat to modern Russian society and vowed to significantly tighten anti-corruption laws.

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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