Sergey Zhavoronkov, Senior Researcher of the Gaidar Institute, took part in the «OTRazhenie” TV program at OTR channel dedicated to pre-Christmas procurement.
At the start of the program, presenters gave examples of state corporations’ expenditures on gifts and Christmas festivities. However, Sergey Zhavoronkov noted that main item of this wasteful spending by these organizations is not Christmas festivities but rather various purchases of cars and other equipment. "Although in 2015, Prime Minister Medvedev signed a decree that restricted cost of cars, for instance, for ministries and departments to Rb 2.5 million, cost of a smartphone to Rb 15 000, etc., but this did not apply to state-owned companies," explained the expert.

In his opinion, it is necessary to extend norms of the 2015 decree not only to ministries and departments (one year later they were extended to FSUEs), but also to all state-owned companies and state corporations. This measure could reduce issues of similar nature. “That said, transparency is obviously very important here, because there were cases when state corporations banned these controversial procurements when information came to light,” Sergey Zhavoronkov added.

He also noted that average salary of federal civil servants amounts to Rb 125 000 which exceeds three times average salary across the country and four times the median salary - that is,  the one received by  majority of the population. Therefore, it is logical that these employees could purchase Christmas gifts using their own funds.