Rosfinmonitoring proposes to oblige banks and other organizations to inform the authorities about “public officials” — the Russian officials and politicians — among contractors and foreign and international organizations recognized unwanted in Russia. This provision is contained in the draft order of the Ministry, published on the portal of projects of normative acts. The logic of this step is to strengthen the control over politicians, to exclude any “dangerous liaisons” from the point of view of the ruling regime, he said.
Now banks and non-credit organization must identify and report to Rosfinmonitoring about the “public officials” among the contractors of undesirable organizations. There is no such requirement either in law on ‘undesirable’ foreign organizations (the law from June 2015 banned from working in Russia financial institutions from conducting any transactions involving undesirable associations), nor in the current August 2015 information letter of the Federal financial monitoring service, which banks and non-Bank organizations are reporting the facts of failures in the conduct of such operations. According to that letter, the Federal financial monitoring service financial institution open to the essence of avoided operations and transmit shared information about their frustrated partners — companies and individuals. There is no requirement to identify among them “public officials” and in the corresponding government resolution of may 2016.
Rosfinmonitoring has not responded to the request about necessity of introduction of new requirements for banks.
The purpose of innovation is to further strengthen state control over the political sphere in Russia, in particular, the decision-makers, says political analyst Alexei Makarkin. “Apparently, taking the law on undesirable organizations (like the law on the organizations—”foreign agents”), the state came from the fact that these organizations are detrimental to the public interest, — the expert explains . But the most dangerous damage, from the point of view of the state, causes the connection of these organizations with public entities that decide important public issues and influence public opinion in Russia.” So it’s not so much control over these organizations, how many of such “public persons” — “any involvement of these individuals in such organizations are deemed to be especially dangerous to the state,” says Makarkin. It does not preclude the emergence soon of a number of new regulations, such as the draft of Rosfinmonitoring.
Now banks and other organizations already have information on Russian and foreign “public officials” among its customers, say bankers. To identify them and monitor transactions for amounts above 15 thousand. financial organizations are obliged by the law on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Monitoring the movement of funds on accounts of public officials requires not even Rosfinmonitoring and the international FATF, an intergovernmental group, which develops measures to combat money laundering) — so it is international practice, the Chairman of the Duma Committee on economic policy, President of the Association of regional banks of Russia Anatoly Aksakov. According to him, foreign banks already antiroot their customers, find out whether they or their relatives by public officials.
Such a survey for the execution of the AML / CFT law, there are Russian banks. For example, Finprombank tells his clients that belong to the Russian “public officials” of people holding public office (it’s high-ranking officials and state Duma deputies, Federation Council members; the complete list is defined by decree of the President. — .), and also the officials of the Bank of Russia, state corporations, etc. Obviously, if the banks will see such people among the contractors of undesirable organizations, they will inform the Federal financial monitoring service, said one of the bankers. But the problem will be the integrity of the customers when completing such questionnaires and carry out investigations banks are not required, said Aksakov.
Risks for politicians
The authorities are unlikely to seriously believe that someone of high-ranking officials or politicians will be able to get in touch with undesirable organizations in Russia, but given the fact that the number of such associations is constantly increasing, it is quite possible, says Makarkin. Someone might not pay attention to the law on undesirable organizations (not all because I read the laws), says the expert, and someone who, relatively, could write an article for an organization, when it was still “acceptable”, and by the time of the receipt of the fee she was found “undesirable”. “Turns out that yesterday, the relationship did not punished, but today they become criminal. And people can then 125 times to prove that the article was published when the organization was still “acceptable” — if it is not punished, the blame in lack of vigilance. It’s clear that public policies try to stay away from any foreigners, but someone may miss,” says Makarkin.
Adopted in the summer of 2015 law on undesirable organizations was designed to combat the “orange revolution” in Russia, explained who voted for him, the deputies of the state Duma. A number of foreign and international organizations funded organization in Ukraine, which later participated in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych, said the parliamentarians. To date, the Prosecutor General’s office announced seven unwanted associations can be seen from the list maintained by the Ministry of justice. Among them — based and US Congress-funded national endowment for democracy, created by financier-billionaire George Soros Foundation “open society”, the national democratic Institute of international relations ex-gossekretar USA Madeleine Albright and the international Republican Institute, the American Senator John McCain.
All of these organizations funded human rights or educational non-commercial organizations in Russia, mentioned in the relevant reports of the Prosecutor’s office, which considered these organizations as a “threat to the constitutional order”. By law, these organizations are forbidden to be present in any form in Russia, and also contact with the Russian people. Individuals for cooperating with such organizations face the responsibility up to criminal. Banks and non-Bank organizations for operations with the participation of banned organizations face a fine of up to 100 thousand rubles.