Talk of a rift between the two men running Russia may be a tad exaggerated but there is definitely a pay discrepancy: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earns 33% more than President Dmitry Medvedev.
Putin took home $180,145 last year, up 29.6% from 2009.
The assets of Russia’s action man include a share in a public garage and a 1,500 square meter plot of land, declarations of his wealth published on the government’s website on Monday suggest.
Medvedev did not do nearly so well. The president reported an income of $120,690 last year, and a Moscow apartment of 367 square meters, which he owns jointly with his wife, Svetlana.
The declaration also showed he owns a vintage Soviet Gaz-20 Pobeda sedan and holds $177,251 in 14 Russian bank accounts. The Medvedevs also have 4,700 square meters of land.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s reported income in 2009 was $5.5 million, most of it from his two bestselling books, Dreams from My Father and Audacity of Hope. That seems a lucrative sideline for a world leader, though it is hard to imagine Medvedev writing a book about anything other than vaguely worded “national priorities.”
Russia’s top officials have been forced to declare their income since 2008, but pundits say little headway has been made in tackling corruption.
“I have no doubt that the president declares his income as it is,” says Yelena Lukyanova, member of the Public Chamber, Russia’s chief advisory body. “I am much more interested in the income of other officials.”
“It is extremely hard to fight the sprawling army of bureaucrats,” Lukyanova says. “The country’s leadership has so far been successful in holding back the huge anger of the people who would otherwise just tear those bureaucrats apart.”
Russia is ranked 154th out of 178 states by Transparency International, while the United States is 19th in the anti-corruption group’s latest Corruption Perception Index.
MOSCOW, April 11 (RIA Novosti, Alexei Korolyov)