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Ukraine calls on the FATF to blacklist Russia amid strengthening ties with North Korea and Iran

14 Feb, 2024
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Ukraine calls on the FATF to blacklist Russia amid strengthening ties with North Korea and Iran

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The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine and the State Financial Monitoring Service of Ukraine urge the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to curb Russia's increasing efforts aimed at undermining global financial security and strengthening its ties with Iran and North Korea.

The next FATF meeting is scheduled for February 19-23 in Paris, on the eve of the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. At the meeting, Russia is expected to be added to the organization's "blacklist," and FATF is expected to issue an expanded statement on the risks emanating from Russia.

A year ago, FATF suspended Russia's membership for violating the organization's key principles of promoting the security, safety, and integrity of the global financial system. FATF also expressed deep concern over reports of arms trading between Russia and countries under UN sanctions, as well as malicious cyber activity originating from Russia. While these measures by FATF are important, they have failed to restrain Russia, which has since become increasingly belligerent and deepened its ties with North Korea and Iran.

Russia has used North Korean ballistic missiles and ammunition in Ukraine, including in December 2023 and January 2024. Procuring such missiles and conventional arms from North Korea constitutes a serious violation of both UN sanctions and FATF principles.

Russia increasingly relies on Iranian-made drones to continue its illegal invasion and intensify attacks against civilians in Ukraine. Russia has established a joint payment system to help Iran bypass SWIFT and has integrated the banking systems of the two countries. Later this month, Myanmar is expected to join the Russian payment system. Once Myanmar joins the payment system, Russia will double financial cooperation with all countries on FATF's blacklist.

"The activation of Russia's cooperation with Iran and North Korea has given the latter access to the global financial system through a 'backdoor.' To address this issue, FATF must blacklist Russia and warn the international financial system about the risks posed by Russia. Failure to act will lead to even greater danger to the global economy and nullify FATF's and its members' achievements in combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko.

"A year after the suspension of membership in FATF, Russia's deliberate disregard for FATF principles and UN sanctions, increasing opacity, and continued malicious cyber activity make it one of the riskiest jurisdictions for financial crime. There is mounting irrefutable evidence that Russia's illicit activity threatens global peace and security. We are confident that FATF will consider this issue with the utmost attention during its upcoming plenary session to help protect global financial security," said Head of the State Financial Monitoring Service of Ukraine Igor Cherkaskyi.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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