Russia favors stronger mechanisms to combat money laundering, financing of terrorism

The Financial Intelligence Unit conducted more than 3,000 inquiries into the financing of terrorism last year, Russian Foreign Ministry Department on New Threats and Challenges Deputy Director Dmitry Feoktistov said at a special meeting of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee in New York. His speech was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website.

"The Financial Intelligence Unit held more than 3,000 investigations into the financing of terrorism in 2011, and 2,500 materials were sent to law enforcement agencies for verification. In fulfillment of Russia's international commitments to blocking the financing of terrorism, the list of organizations and individuals engaged in terrorism and terrorism is constantly updated," he said.

The list's international segment contains names of 106 organizations and 394 individuals (on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions), while the Russian segment of the document lists 48 organizations and 2,382 individuals, he said. A key element of the national system counteracting terrorism and money laundering is the Federal Financial Monitoring Service - a Russian unit of financial intelligence.

"Russia stands for constant strengthening of relevant mechanisms, among them the FATF (an intergovernmental organization combating money laundering) and FATF-based regional groups that unite over 180 states," the department deputy director said.

The FATF mandate for 2012-2022, which was drafted with the active participation of Russia, implies that the Financial Action Task Force will not only handle its traditional issues but also react to the new threats to the integrity of the global financial system, which may be identified by the international community, primarily the UN Security Council.

The diplomat said first experience had been gained: a FATF recommendation on counteracting financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction had been approved. "Its role will be strictly auxiliary: it will assist and monitor the national implementation of financial provisions of UN Security Council resolutions with regard to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction defined as a threat to world peace and security. The FATF is also focused on the search for answers to other transboundary threats, including corruption and sea piracy," Feoktistov said.

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