Published At Jun 18, 2020

The meeting of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) chaired by Director of Rosfinmonitoring, Yury Chikhanchin, was held remotely on June 19, 2020.

In his welcome speech, Yury Chikhanchin expressed condolences for COVID-19 victims in the EAG member states and wished all coronavirus patients a speedy recovery.

The coronavirus has affected all aspects and spheres of life and is impacting the operation of the international AML/CFT platforms, including the EAG. This time our session does not include the meetings of the Working Groups and is held in the virtual mode, which has already been successfully tested by the FATF and other FSRBs.

The EAG Chairman pointed out that the Group, being the integral part of the FATF Global Network, bears the particular responsibility for ensuring financial security in the Eurasian region. In this context and in line with the EAG Strategy for the upcoming years, as well as with the priorities of the Russian Chairmanship, he underscored the need to focus the efforts on identification and mitigation of regional risks.

Yury Chikhanchin:

Another important aspect. Since we are focused on practical effect of the jointly taken measures implemented to address new challenges and threats in the financial sphere, I believe that it is necessary to ensure further rapprochement between the EAG and the Council of Heads of FIUs in terms of closer coordination of the important typology research and projects. The establishment of the international Risk Assessment Center should facilitate the achievement of this goal.

The FATF President Mr. Xiangmin Liu delivered a welcome speech and expressed the regret that the meeting could not be held in China due to the coronavirus that frustrated many plans. He noted that this Plenary is the first one held by the FATF Global Network as a virtual event, and the next one will be the FATF Plenary which will also be held in the virtual mode.

Mr. Xiangmin Liu:

COVID-19 did not affect our commitment to fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. As you know, about two weeks ago, the FATF published the basic document which reflected the FATF response to new challenges and threats caused by the pandemic. And the EAG also contributed to this study.

In his speech, the FATF President also summarized the results achieved during the Chinese Presidency of the FATF, the key priority of which was to strengthen the FATF Global Network.

The measures undertaken by the FATF and the EAG member states to mitigate the money laundering and terrorist financing risks caused by COVID-19 pandemic were among the key topics discussed at the meeting. The representatives of Uzbekistan and Rosfinmonitoring delivered presentation on this issue.

The Plenary emphasized the need for a rapid response to new ML/TF threats arising from the global pandemic. It was noted that the EAG member states work hard to identify and analyze new ML/TF methods in the region, assist in raising awareness among government authorities and the private sector of the latest global trends and emerging risks, as well as take active steps to bolster international cooperation in order to strengthen national AML/CFT systems.

Other issues of the meeting agenda included: the mutual evaluations of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (it was decided to postpone them due to the pandemic), and the engagement with the private sector, which becomes especially important in the context of the imposed restrictive measures. Besides that, the Plenary restored the Germany’s status as the EAG observer.

The 33rd EAG Plenary Meeting is planned to be held in the Republic of Uzbekistan in November 2020 (in case of positive development of the global epidemiological situation).