V. Putin: Mr. Chikhanchin, the deadline for Russia to submit the National report on so-called anti-money laundering activity ends up in October, your agency is preparing this report. Let’s start with this.
Yu. Chikhanchin: Indeed, we must hand over the Russian report to the FATF Secretariat (Financial Action Task Force) for evaluation in October.
Two clusters that will be presented in the report are about the technical compliance of our entire regulatory framework with international standards and the effectiveness of the anti-money laundering system, actually how these laws work. This is a very serious issue.
Until February, experts assess this report, in February, the mission arrives (about 12 people), and, approximately in March, they will finish this mission, in October of the following year we will report to the Plenary. This is how the mechanism works.
What has been done for today. Above all, we have prepared a Concept for the development of a National counteraction system [the legalization (laundering) of criminal proceeds and the terrorist financing]. You signed it, thank you very much, it is a very important document.
Second. Together with the concerned agencies, we have made national risks evaluation in the field of combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and have already submitted them to the Secretariat.
According to these national risks evaluations, five areas of increased attention have been identified for today: credit and financial field, area of increased attention linked to corruption, illegal drug trade, illegal use of budgetary funds and financing of terrorism. Agencies looked it up and approved. There is a large list of the agencies that work with us. And at the same time we passed these documents through various interdepartmental commissions: NAC, SAC and so on.
The Commission, which was created by your order just to prepare for the report, and the second interagency working group on combating illegal financial transactions worked most actively. We need to continue its work; indeed, the working group has done a great deal.
We can say again that the amendments appeared in the legislative framework concerning the activities of banks. These are, in particular, mechanisms where banks have the right to refuse to conduct a transaction due to the suspicious operation. Quite serious amendments were made in the Tax code, and what the Mishustin team is doing today (we are working together), in particular the control of cash registers, – all this is in the Commission, adding those who are directly related to the budgetary sector.
The most serious topic that we are also considering within the Commission is the use of the judicial authorities in an attempt to withdraw money abroad. We were able to suspend [the withdrawal of] about 50 billion rubles, thanks to the interaction with the Lebedev team, actually, we came and confirmed through the court that the money was fake.
What we need to do today to complete the evaluation is to improve a number of regulatory acts, make adjustments on the interagency level of statistics, prepare examples that were reviewed by the experts, and strengthen this work, continue international efforts.
I need to say that we are working very actively with all the ministries and agencies, with the members of delegations that are visiting these forums. And it’s important to say that there is a variety of areas that are supported by the international community, in particular, our projects related to the fight against financing of terrorism and identification terrorist fighters. More than a hundred countries are currently working with us on this project. The anti-drug sector also includes more than a hundred countries, adding an international organization such as the UNODC. And we have launched a very large project to identify professional international "launderers".
V. Putin: «Milky way»?
Yu. Chikhanchin: Yes.
We are working very closely now – the quadripartite group: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia – just to exchange information in view of all these areas.
We must admit that we have launched a so-called technical assistance project. This is our International Training Center and the International Network Institute [in the field of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism]: it was presented at the FATF as one of the educational institutions that assists in the training of specialists. Here is a map, just showing which countries.
This year alone we have trained about two thousand experts of the Russian state bodies, 14 thousand of specialists from the private sector, including banking, leasing and so on, and foreign specialists from 32 countries; the last visit was from Japan, Latin America, Central European countries.
Eventually, we trained about three thousand students through the direct contact system and video conference.
We do the same with the International Network Institute. Here I would like to say that we established the International Network Institute five years ago, after your order, together with the Ministry of Education and Science and then the Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations. Today it virtually unites 36 universities over the world: Russia, Central Asian countries, China and BRICS countries. For today, 2600 people, more than 300 foreigners, are studying at this Institute.
This approach is very interesting, I told you, just repeat. For foreign students, we do the thesis presentation in our building, and the employer (representative of the Central Bank, the Prosecutor General's office of another country)by video conference directly hears and sees how his graduate student makes a presentation. And this year we have made the all-Russian event, when the graduation projects of one Institute were seen by all the institutes of the Network Institute: they saw how the presentation went, what method was used, what information resources, how students were prepared. It is very interesting, and we are developing it.
Now we want to create a structural unit, something like a Secretariat, together with our industrial partners, banks and our large corporations that hire employees – graduates of this University, because in fact it all worked due to us. And if there is a "yes-nod", then we will create a small ANO and begin to function.
We have now connected science: more than five academic universities are our partners.
This is how the work in this area and the preparation of reports is organized.
V. Putin: When you said about the problems related to the courts, it seemed like the Supreme Court supported the work and helped you.
Yu. Chikhanchin: Yes, very actively. We held several workshops and meetings with them. And due to this fact, we were able to prevent an attempt to withdraw money abroad through court decisions.
V. Putin: Thank you.