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6 Apr, 2009 14:25

Medvedev and Putin pull out their pockets

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has voluntarily declared his income and property. He also made public his wife and son's financial status.

According to the official declaration of the president's property status, Dmitry Medvedev earned 4,139,726 roubles (more than $124,000) in 2008. The personal income certificates of Dmitry Medvedev's wife Svetlana and son Ilya can also be found on President's official website www.kremlin.ru.

Dmitry Medvedev also declared nine accounts with 2,818,000 roubles in total, a 367 sq. m. apartment, which he owns together with his wife Svetlana, and a countryside property of 4700 sq. m. The head of state’s spouse Svetlana Medvedeva, according to the documents, owns a 10-year-old Volkswagen Golf, two parking lots, and has an account with more than 135 thousand roubles. The president's 14-year-old son Ilya hasn't made any earnings in 2008, according to the documents.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin worked harder in 2008 and earned 4.7 million rubles. In addition he received 100,600 roubles from his military pension. Real estate is not the Prime Minister's passion: Vladimir Putin owns a 77 sq. m. apartment and is more frugal about his countryside abode, which is only 1500 sq. m. Clearly, Vladimir Putin is attracted to old Soviet vehicles and owns GAS M-21 from 1960 and 1965, and a car trailer from 1987. Putin's spouse Ludmila is officially is a housewife and, like Medvedev’s underage son, did not earn a single rouble in 2008.

The Federal Constitutional Law of Russia obliges all high-ranking officials to declare their and their family members' personal incomes and property status. The law applies to the prime minister, vice premiers and federal ministers. The president has to declare his income and property only when campaigning for election, while he is a candidate. However, in March 2009, during a meeting of a council on corruption, Dmitry Medvedev said the head of state should also declare his assets and voluntarily presented all the necessary documents to tax authorities.

President Medvedev considers corruption the main threat to national security and said that those officials, who refuse to give information about their financial status, will be fired.

Transparency International, the global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption, says Russia is among the most corrupted countries in the world. In the economic transparency rankings, Russia finds itself 147th out of 180, sharing its position with Kenya, Syria and Bangladesh.