FATF must make up its mind and blacklist Russia, Ukraine calls
Photo via Ukrinform

Ukraine has called on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) members to blacklist Russia, a move that would disrupt its trade and banking system, undercutting further efforts to channel money for the war.

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Ukraine’s finance minister, Sergii Marchenko, officially asked the upcoming FATF Paris meeting later this month, which will gather ministries responsible for anti-money laundering policies, to support Russia’s blacklisting due to the growing risks to global financial security.

"Russia deploys nuclear weapons in Belarus, trades arms with blacklisted Iran, finances terrorism through the Wagner group and other structures, cooperates with North Korea on its nuclear programme, carries out massive cyberattacks on Ukraine and other countries, and uses cryptocurrency to launder dirty money," Mr Marchenko was quoted as saying.

"The FATF was created to counter such attacks on global security."

Since 1989, the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organisation, has been working to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The FATF assesses the risks in countries and places them on white, grey or black lists.

Any payments processed in a blacklisted country may fall under suspicion and be stopped, directly affecting its banking system and international trade.

While Russia’s FATF membership was suspended following its full-scale invasion in Ukraine last February, it has since committed a number of new violations, including terrorist acts – such as the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam – that pose risks to thousands of civilians.

"With this act of terror, Russia is endangering thousands of civilians and destroying ecosystems for future generations. It also further complicates the maintenance of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, as the disaster could affect the water level used to cool the reactors," Ukraine’s finance ministry said in a statement.

Blacklisting Russia would restrict its access to foreign markets and require all FATF jurisdictions to apply enhanced scrutiny and effective countermeasures to protect the international financial system from the ever-increasing risks posed by Moscow.

"This will protect global financial security, help close existing loopholes in sanctions regimes, and stop the unprovoked and illegal war against Ukraine," Ihor Cherkasky, head of Ukraine’s state financial monitoring service, was quoted as saying.