Ukraine hopes to circumvent FATF's economic sanctions

The Ukrainian foreign ministry has instructed embassies to take measures to alleviate the consequences of sanctions introduced by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, or the FATF, an organizations that unites 29 countries including Russia. Ukraine's Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko told journalists on Monday that the embassies had been instructed to discuss the introduction of sanctions with FATF member states.

Zlenko said he hoped Ukrainian diplomats would do everything possible to avoid "severe punishment" of Ukraine. "We hope we shall find understanding with the FATF and with separate countries and have the consequences of the sanctions alleviated," he noted.

On December 19, the FATF announced it was about to tighten control over financial operations with Ukrainian banks because the Ukrainian authorities had so far failed to take decisive measures to fight money laundering. Simultaneously, FATF member states were warned about the risks of running business in Ukraine.

The organization advised the member states to tighten control over branches of Ukrainian banks, to check the owners of the companies they worked with, and increase financial transparency. On the same day, the US Department of Finance announced its intention to introduce special measures for those of the US-based financial institutions that conduct operations with Ukrainian residents amounting to 50,000 dollars and more.

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