WQ by Anna Fotyga and a group of MEPs on the decision not to include Russia in the list of high risk countries to counter money laundering and terrorism financing
On February 13th, the European Commission adopted a list of countries with ‘strategic deficiencies in
their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks’ (1).
The creation of a European list is a welcome move in response to various money laundering scandals
involving European banks. At the end of last year, Danske Bank was for example charged with
laundering over 200 billion dollars in funds from Russia (2).
Similarly, a laundromat scheme through which between 20 and 80 billion dollars was moved out of
Russia via Moldova and including a global network of banks was uncovered in 2014 (3).
Russia is not amongst the 23 countries listed by the European Commission.
1. Given involvement by high-ranking members of the Russian government in these and various other
money laundering schemes, why was Russia not included in the list adopted on February 13th?
2. The Russian Federation was included in a list of 54 ‘priority jurisdictions’ under review. On the
basis of what criteria was it decided to ultimately not include Russia in the list and is the European
Commission not worried this non-listing could be seen as a tacit approval of Russia’s money
3. In addition to any objective criteria used to make the assessment to not include Russia in the list,
did political consideration play a role in this decision and if so which?