Today in Berlin, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concluded the last Plenary under the German presidency and produced policy recommendations to strengthen efforts to combat corruption and the misuse of virtual assets. The FATF again condemned the Russian war against Ukraine and, in an unprecedented step, took action to restrict Russia’s FATF membership privileges.
The Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based intergovernmental body that sets anti-money-laundering law standards, said Russia would no longer be allowed to hold any leadership or advisory roles or participate in decision-making on standard-setting, peer-review processes, and governance and membership issues. Russia, which joined the FATF in 2003, can also no longer provide assessors, reviews or other experts for the organization’s peer-review processes.
“The FATF determined that Russia’s invasion runs counter to the FATF’s core principles and represents a gross violation of their commitments as members of the FATF,” Marcus Pleyer, the group’s president, said at a press conference following a four-day plenary meeting in Berlin. He added that the decision “significantly limits Russia’s role and influence within the FATF and is a direct consequence of members’ condemnation of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.”
The U.S. Treasury Department welcomed the watchdog’s censure of Russia. “At its core, the FATF is committed to the values of international cooperation and the protection of international security and stability. By waging its unprovoked war on Ukraine, Russia violated these core standards and I welcome the serious steps the FATF took to restrict Russia’s presence in its community,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement Friday.
FATF members agreed to severely limit the Russian Federation’s role and influence within the FATF. In particular, FATF members decided that the Russian Federation can no longer hold any leadership or advisory roles or take part in decision-making on standard-setting, FATF peer-review processes, governance and membership matters. The Russian Federation can also no longer provide assessors, reviewers or other experts for FATF peer-review processes. The FATF will monitor the situation and consider at each of its Plenary meetings whether grounds exist for modifying these restrictions.
“At its core, the FATF is committed to the values of international cooperation and the protection of international security and stability. By waging its unprovoked war on Ukraine, Russia violated these core standards and I welcome the serious steps the FATF took to restrict Russia’s presence in its community,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “I also welcome the important work on other topics at the June plenary, including the misuse of legal entities, real estate, and corruption. The actions taken today will empower governments to shine a light on the money incentivizing corruption and illicit activity around the world.”