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Russia: surprise nomination to the FATF

Russia is to be admitted to the Financial Action Task Force at its plenary meeting in Berlin this coming June.

This surprising move follows a period of frenetic activity for Russia/FATF relations: first Russia was named as an NCCT, then added to the counter-measures list, then removed from the countermeasures list and then, some might say coincidentally at the time that the US and the UK were trying to get co-operation from Russia in relation to their attempts to gain support for attacks on Iraq, removed from the NCCT list. That was only a couple of months ago. And now, sources reveal, Russia is set to enter the group.

The situation is interesting for another reason, too. One of the primary reasons for the original listing of Nauru as an NCCT and the imposition and continuation of countermeasures against the tiny island state was that it was commonly used as a staging post for money from the Russian "mafiya". If Russia has cleaned up its act, then one has to ask how much Nauru remains a problem.

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