The Russian Security Council secretary, N P. Patrushev, chaired the annual meeting of the CIS Security Council secretaries in Moscow on November 21, 2018. The heads of delegations discussed measures to ensure national and international security across the CIS. The meeting was attended by Rosfinmonitoring Director Yu. A. Chikhanchin.
Among the focal points of the discussion was the fight against international terrorism and extremism, particularly the steps to be taken to cut off funding for terrorists.
"Participants exchanged analytical data on the situation around the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and their affiliates along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and in the Middle East; discussed joint action to curb the activities of members of international terrorist organizations as part of command post counter-terrorism exercises; and talked separately about military and technical cooperation," said Patrushev.
The past year also included meetings of CIS foreign ministers at the UN Security Council to discuss partnership-building measures in Central Asia.
In his speech to the participants, Chikhanchin spoke about the joint efforts to cut off terrorist funding, including the fight against money laundering.
Today, cooperation among CIS member states is carried out both within the framework of bilateral arrangements and international organizations such as the CIS Council of Heads of Financial Intelligence Units and the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, a FATF-style regional body.
As pointed out by the head of the Russian FIU, "through joint efforts, we have succeeded in creating in the post-Soviet space a reasonably robust AML/CFT system that meets international standards".
The financial profile of a foreign terrorist fighter, developed by the Eurasian Group, has formed the basis of the international operation "Barrier", run by the CIS Council of Heads of Financial Intelligence Units, a CIS sectoral body.
The purpose of the operation "Barrier" is to combat terrorist financing by studying financial flows from Russia to foreign countries that boarder territories controlled by terrorists.
Due to the fluidity of the situation along the Syrian-Iraqi and Afghan-Pakistani borders, the list of areas under such control is regularly updated by the CIS Council of Heads of Financial Intelligence Units.
Yu. A. Chikhanchin reminded participants that, according to the FATF Recommendations, the key focus should be on the fight against terrorist financing.
In this regard, the use of the extrajudicial freezing mechanism, i.e., the Russian-based Interagency Committee for Combating the Financing of Terrorism, has proven particularly effective. Over the past two years, it has been used to block access to the financial system for more than 1600 individuals and 5 legal entities, paving the way for the adoption of this extrajudicial asset freezing mechanism by the EAG.
"Another area of our work within the CIS concerns the assessment of compliance of national AML/CFT systems with the FATF standards, carried out by the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism," said the director of Rosfinmonitoring. "The success of the assessment depends not only on the fullest possible compliance of the system with international standards, but also on the high level of coordination between the relevant national agencies and robust international cooperation and collaboration with the private sector."