9 Jun 2023 18:24

Inclusion of Russia in FATF lists may have political motive, there no objective reasons for it - Nabiullina

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) - There are no objective prerequisites for the possible inclusion of Russia in Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gray or black lists, and the decision to do so can only have a political motive, and if adopted, it will create difficulties in the settlement system, the head of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said on Friday.

"In 2019, there was a comprehensive assessment of the Russian anti-money laundering system by the FATF, and we successfully passed it, receiving fairly high marks. This anti-money laundering system continues to work effectively. Moreover, of course, in order to be included in a gray or black list, it requires some substantial structural shortcomings in the functioning of the anti-money laundering system. In our opinion, there are no objective reasons for this," she said at a briefing following the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank.

Nabiullina stressed that "if a politically motivated decision is made, then, of course, the consequence may be a complication with the settlement system, because there will be more time spent on compliance procedures in international settlements. This will have negative consequences," she said.

The FATF plenary week will begin on June 19 in Paris. So far, no official statements have been made about possible steps in relation to Russia. However, foreign media have recently been discussing the possibility of the FATF considering the issue of including Russia gray or black lists.

The FATF decided to suspend Russia’s membership in the organization in February. Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service said at the time that this would not lead to any obligations or restrictions for financial institutions in Russia or abroad.

Russia was removed from the FATF blacklist in September 2002 after the first assessment of the country’s AML/ATF system to international standards. After a second assessment in April 2003, Russia already became a member of the FATF on June 19 that year.

Russia’s AML/ATF system underwent a third round of mutual assessment for compliance in 2008, and since 2010 Russia has regularly reported on progress in improving its AML/ATF system at FATF plenary meetings.

The FATF gray list includes countries under enhanced monitoring, in regard to which the organization calls for measures to minimize risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism. This list now includes Albania, Barbados, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Gibraltar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Yemen, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, Panama, Senegal, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, the Philippines and South Africa.

The blacklist of high-risk jurisdictions includes countries in regard to which countermeasures are required, such as North Korea and Iran, and which require enhanced due diligence commensurate with the risks, such as Myanmar.