MOSCOW, December 1 - RAPSI. Corruption in Russia remains to be high, according to the report published by Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) non-governmental organization on Thursday.

According to the report, Russia ranks 143rd out of 182 countries with the score of 2.4 on the scale from "0" (high corruption level) to "10" (low corruption level) in terms of corruption perception. Russia's corruption level is equal to that of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Nigeria, Togo, East Timor, Mauritania and Uganda.

The Corruption Perceptions Index, CPI, calculated by the Transparency International, measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption.

Last year, Russia ranked 154th with the score of 2.1 on the corruption watchdog's 2010 list.

Yelena Panfilova, the head of Transparency International's Russian branch, earlier said a score below 3 describes the level of corruption in a country as extremely high.
New Zealand is the least corrupted country (9.5) according to the TI 2011 list followed by Denmark (9.4) and Finland (9.4). The most corrupt countries are Somalia and North Korea, both having scored 1.0.

As for the CIS states, Moldavia (2.9), Kazakhstan (2.7) and Armenia (2.6) performed slightly better than Russia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

Ukraine and Tajikistan (both 2.3) stopped short of Russia by one score. Kirgizstan ranks 164th with the score of 2.1. Meanwhile, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have been considered most corrupted countries both ranking 177 with the score of 1.6.

Two thirds of the countries on the list have scored less than 5. Nonetheless, 2011 shows a clear trend towards higher transparency as people demand that their governments report on the anti-corruption efforts.

"High ranking countries are good examples showing that continuous efforts toward transparency may succeed and benefit the population of these countries," Cobus de Swardt, the managing director of Transparency International said.