MOSCOW - The number of Russian officials and civil servants, who were dismissed due to the loss of trust in 2018, has reached 705 so far, compared to 769 officials fired during the entire 2017, Director of the Labour Ministry Department of Civil Service Dmitry Basnak told Sputnik in an interview.

“A total of 769 state and municipal employees were fired in 2017 over the loss of trust, and 478 employees were fired in 2016. It is worth mentioning that as for December 7, 2018, the register of persons dismissed due to the loss of trust for committing a corruption offense contains information about 705 officials,” Basnak said.

Basnak added that in 2017, there was an increase in the registered corruption offenses committed by state and municipal employees from 36,500 to 40,500 cases.

“At the same time, 24,100 state and municipal employees were brought to disciplinary responsibility in 2017 and 21,600 in 2016,” Basnak noted.

According to Basnak, such a gap can be explained by the insignificance of the registered violations. For instance, it may be technical errors or typographical errors in income declarations, expenses or property declarations as well as a failure to report a small income that does not exceed 1,000 rubles ($15).

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the national plan for fighting corruption in Russia within the period between 2018 and 2020.

The fight against corruption is one the most crucial issues on Russia’s agenda. Putin has repeatedly said that Russia consistently fights corruption and views it as a serious problem, underlining that he personally supports the idea that public opinion should be focused on the matter.