Russian government officials will be required to declare their cryptocurrency holdings from 2021 as the state looks to clamp down on corruption.
Russia’s prosecutor general Igor Krasnov made the announcement during the 18th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states. In attendance were the prosecutor generals of the affiliated countries, which includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
While the group oversees a very broad mandate including sociopolitical, economic and security concerns of the broad Eurasian area, this week’s meeting was reportedly centred on practices and mechanisms for combating corruption.
Civil servants to declare crypto
The meeting addressed ways in which Russia’s prosecutor’s office plays a central role in curbing corruption among government officials.
Prosecutors reportedly check over 2 million governmental documents and their projects and try to remove any factors or circumstances in contracts that might lead to instances of corruption.
Krasnov also shared his belief that the control of expenses of civil servants is warranted in order to prevent unjustified enrichment. The report states that if an official or members of their family spend an amount that exceeds their total income over the past three years on real estate, vehicles or securities, the state prosecutor has the right to sue and turn said illegally-gained property into state revenue.
Cryptocurrencies entered the discussion as well as Krasnov highlighted the adoption of a federal law titled ‘On Virtual Currency’ which recognized cryptocurrencies as property in a means for it to be addressed for ‘areas of legal relations, including anti-corruption’.
According to Cointelegraph Russia’s labor ministry announced that public officials would not have to declare any cryptocurrency holdings in 2018 due to the fact that virtual assets did not have any regulatory status in the country.
That has now changed and Krasnov confirmed that Russian civil servants would be legally required to declare their cryptocurrency holdings from the beginning of 2021, just like they would with other holdings in their portfolio.
Full crypto bill coming in 2021
Russia has long had a topsy-turvy relationship with cryptocurrency as the government has often changed its tune towards the use of virtual currencies by its citizens.
Nevertheless a full that is expected to outline all of the regulatory parameters around the use of cryptocurrency in Russia is expected to be released early next year. The upcoming “On Digital Financial assets, Digital Currency’ bill has been a focal point, with leaked versions of the documents revealing some strict regulations on the use of cryptocurrency by Russians.
Russia’s Central Bank also plans to begin a pilot testing programme of a ‘Digital Ruble’ Central Bank Digital Currency in 2021 in collaboration with a number of public sector banks.