Russia to introduce oath of loyalty for civil servants

© Vitaliy Ankov
Labor Minister Maksim Topilin has told the press that the authorities plan to introduce an obligatory oath of loyalty for all civil servants with the rank below federal minister. There will be disciplinary measures for those who fail to observe it.

The minister said in an interview with Izvestia daily that the oath-taking procedure would be compulsory for those who seek posts in the civil service and those who already work in various state agencies. The text of the oath is currently being developed by several ministries and will require approval from parliament before the procedure comes into force.

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The Labor Ministry press service reported the oath of loyalty would be taken by civil servants from federal agencies and municipal bodies alike.

Topilin also told reporters that pledging loyalty to their country will be obligatory for all officials with the rank below federal minister, starting with ministers’ deputies. However, because under the current Russian law the prime minister, deputy prime minister and federal minister are not considered civil servants, they will not have to do this.

According to the minister, the text of the oath would include promises to serve the interests of Russian citizens, abide by the Russian Constitution and laws, and never allow personal interests to outweigh public duty. Violations of these promises would lead to disciplinary procedures.

The minister said the loyalty oath would become an additional incentive for Russian officials to fulfill their duties honestly.

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The idea to introduce an oath of loyalty for civil servants was proposed by President Vladimir Putin in February this year as one of the urgent measures targeting corruption. Currently, such a procedure exists in Russia’s Military Forces and law enforcement and court system. The Russian president also has to take an oath of loyalty to the nation as part of the inauguration procedure.