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Transparency International Releases Corruption Index --> Azerbaijani cartoon against corruption (official site) November 6, 2006 -- The nongovernmental corruption watchdog Transparency International released its annual "Corruption Perceptions Index" today.

The index ranks 163 countries by their perceived levels of domestic corruption in the public sector.

As usual, at the top of the list are several Nordic countries, such as Finland, Iceland, and Denmark.

Among the major world powers, Germany came in 16th, Japan 17th, and the United States was 20th.

Transparency International said there was a "strong correlation between corruption and poverty." Most of the world's low-income countries -- especially in Africa -- fared poorly.

Ukraine and Georgia are 99th and Russia is in 121st place. Armenia is in 93rd place, while Azerbaijan is in 130th place. Kazakhstan is ranked 111th.

Near the very bottom of this year's list are Iraq, in 160th place, and Uzbekistan and Belarus, tied for 151st place. Turkmenistan and Tajikistan tied for 142nd place. Afghanistan was not ranked because of a lack of data.

(dpa, Reuters)
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