Russian Finance Minister To Discuss Anti-terrorist Struggle In Canada

Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin arrived in Ottawa early morning. He will participate in the meeting of finance ministers and heads of central banks of the Group of Twenty member countries, and in sessions of IMF and IBRD leading bodies, sources in Russian embassy to Canada said. Among the Group of Twenty members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Southern Africa, Turkey, and the USA. These countries present two-thirds of the world's populace and produce eighty per cent of the world's GDP. The meeting, opened in Canada November 16, will focus on the role of the Group of Twenty in opposing financing of terrorism, also featuring issues of the world's economic situation and the problem of globalization. According to the information from the finance ministry of the USA, one hundred and twenty countries have already introduced the system of freezing accounts in case a substantiated suspicion arises that the money might be used for financing terrorists. The same source informed that more than 56 million dollars belonging to the Taliban and al-Qaeda organisation have been frozen all over the world. The Russian Central Bank First Deputy Head Tatyana Paramonova is accompanying Kudrin in Canada. Russian delegates will report of the measures Russian President and government are taking in order to deprive terrorists of the possibility of financing their activity. "We are going to discuss specific steps that could be taken to close the channels through which the terrorist organisations could receive financial help, to discuss the possibility of collective commitments in this area and the possibility of the Group of Twenty playing one of primary roles in this struggle," Alexei Kudrin said told journalists the day before he left for Ottawa. The Vice Premier underlined that the struggle against financing terrorism must be firmly based on "efficient legislation on combating money laundering." "We could also consider creating national financial intelligence systems in all the countries participating in the group - which Russia has already done - and joining the Egmont group - which Russia is still to do," Kudrin remarked. Egmont group is an international group of departments of financial intelligence services. The two days' meeting will be followed by sessions of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Committee for Development under IMF and IBRD. Alexei Kudrin will be present at those sessions. Initially scheduled for September, to be held within an annual session of IMF and IBRD in Washington, they were postponed after the terrorist attacks of September 11 in the USA to be held in Ottawa later.

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