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No reason for financial crime watchdog to blacklist Russia, says cbank


(Reuters) – Russia’s Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said on Wednesday there were “no objective” reasons for Russia to be added to the global financial crime watchdog’s blacklist.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) suspended Russia’s membership in February, saying Moscow’s war in Ukraine had violated the organisation’s principles, a step Russia denounced as a “dangerous step”.

Ukraine, which is not a member, has urged the FATF to go further and blacklist Russia at its meetings in Paris this week.

“I believe that there are no objective, technical reasons for adding us to the blacklist,” Nabiullina told members of Russia’s upper house of parliament, adding that Moscow had implemented an effective system to counter money laundering.

“The decision, if taken, would be politically motivated, but if such a decision is taken, it will of course have negative consequences for us,” she said.

“This would above all negatively impact international settlements… It would lengthen compliance procedures even further, it could block some payments.”

The Paris-based FATF is a 39-member group of countries that works to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and weapons proliferation.

It lists countries as “high-risk” if they have “significant strategic deficiencies” in countering these issues.

Russia is the first country to be suspended by FATF, though it remains a member. Its suspension means it is barred from attending meetings and accessing documents, FATF has said.

(Reporting by Reuters and Alexander Marrow; additional reporting by Felix Light; Editing by Christina Fincher and Gareth Jones)

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