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Ukraine calls to include Russia in FATF's blacklist over agreement with North Korea

Ukraine calls to include Russia in FATF's blacklist over agreement with North Korea Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Ukraine is urging the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to take measures to protect the security of the global financial system by placing Russia on the "blacklist" at the upcoming plenary meeting on June 23, according to the Ministry of Finance.

According to the ministry, Russia is becoming increasingly aggressive, notably by deepening its economic and military ties with North Korea.

"Ballistic missiles and ammunition acquired from North Korea in exchange for oil - in violation of UN sanctions and FATF principles - continue to be used against peaceful cities and civilians in Ukraine," the statement reads.

This week, Russia signed a comprehensive partnership agreement with North Korea and announced the formalization of financial ties through the creation of "alternative mechanisms for trade and settlements" to "jointly oppose" international efforts aimed at curbing the destructive behavior of both countries.

Russia has also intensified its cooperation with Iran - a state under global sanctions and on the FATF blacklist. The Kremlin has provided Tehran with a backdoor to the international financial system by linking their payment systems to bypass SWIFT sanctions and opening a branch of the state-owned VTB Bank in Iran. Russia also heavily relies on Iranian drones to support its illegal invasion, the Ministry of Finance said.

In February 2023, FATF took the unprecedented step of suspending Russia's membership. In February 2024, FATF issued an additional statement expressing serious concerns about the country's growing financial ties with blacklisted states and malicious cyber activities originating from Russia. Despite these warnings, Russia has not altered its behavior. On the contrary, the number and severity of violations have increased, posing additional threats to the global financial system and security.

"Russia's gross violations have long been evident to all. The Kremlin is strengthening military and economic ties with North Korea and Iran, funding terrorist organizations within and outside Russia, undermining anti-money laundering institutions, and sponsoring the spread of cybercrime. FATF has one clear mechanism to counter these violations and ensure the protection of the global financial system - blacklisting Russia," said Finance Minister Serhii Marchenko.

As a reminder, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un signed a strategic partnership agreement, which includes provisions for mutual military assistance.