FATF announces suspension of Russia’s membership

24 February, 05:01 PM
Kremlin (Photo:REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina)

Kremlin (Photo:REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina)

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced the suspension of Russia’s membership on the anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine, the watchdog said in a statement on Feb. 24.

“The Russian Federation’s actions unacceptably run counter to the FATF core principles aiming to promote security, safety, and the integrity of the global financial system,” reads the statement.

“They also represent a gross violation of the commitment to international cooperation and mutual respect upon which FATF Members have agreed to implement and support the FATF Standards. Considering the above, the FATF has decided to suspend the membership of the Russian Federation.”

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At the same time, the FATF stressed that Russia remains accountable for its obligation to implement the FATF Standards and must continue to meet its financial obligations.

Russia will also remain a member of the Global Network as an active member of the Eurasian Group on Money Laundering (EAG) and retain its rights as an EAG member.

The FATF added they will monitor the situation and consider at each plenary meeting whether the grounds exist for lifting or modifying these restrictions.

In addition, the FATF continues to call upon all jurisdictions to remain vigilant of threats to the integrity, safety and security of the international financial system arising from Russia’s war against Ukraine.

“The FATF reiterates that all jurisdictions should be alert to possible emerging risks from the circumvention of measures taken in order to protect the international financial system and take the necessary measures to mitigate these risks,” the agency said.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko was quick to comment on the FATF’s decision.

“We have a historical decision,” he wrote on Facebook.

“The FATF excluded Russia from the list of member countries.”

The minister said the decision had been preceded by extraordinary work by the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine and the State Financial Monitoring Service.

In particular, more than 200 appeals to support the exclusion of Russia from the FATF and its inclusion in the FATF sanctions list have been submitted to the FATF member countries and various international organizations since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine.

According to Marchenko, the relevant move by the FATF is a clear signal that all entities should exercise extreme caution when attempting to make any transactions with the Russian financial system.

“We continue to work so that the next step is to include Russia in the FATF ‘blacklist’ to protect the global financial system,” the minister said.

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