Transparency International (TI), the Berlin-based corruption watchdog organization, yesterday released its Corruption Perceptions Index 2001, ranking countries according to their level of corruption as perceived by businessmen and others working and living in them. Out of the ninety-one countries ranked, Russia came in 79th, tied with Ecuador and Pakistan, more corrupt than Vietnam, Zambia, Cote d´Ivoire and Nicaragua, and less corrupt than Tanzania, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Bolivia. Russia received a Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score of 2.3 (with a score of 10 meaning total rectitude, 0 meaning total corruption). Overall, Russia’s rating and ranking was a slight improvement over last year, when its score was 2.1 and it came in 82nd, tied with Kenya (see the Monitor, September 15, 2000). This year, Bangladesh was deemed the most corrupt country and Nigeria ranked as the second most corrupt. TI stressed, however, that it was able to get data from only three independent survey sources for Bangladesh; there were ten such sources for Russia. Like last year, Russia’s neighbor, Finland, was ranked the world’s least corrupt nation, followed by Denmark and New Zealand. The United States came in 16th with a score of 7.6, tying Israel.
In a statement accompanying the release of the Corruption Perceptions Index 2001, TI chairman Peter Eigen noted that there were very high levels of perceived corruption in “transition” countries, particularly the former Soviet Union. “The leaders of the countries of the former Soviet Union must do far more to establish the rule of law and transparency in government,” Eigen’s statement read. “This is crucial to their economic progress, and to the development of an open society.”
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