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EU praises Russia in fight on terrorism financing, money laundering

The European Union welcomes Russia's commitment to the ongoing international fight against terrorism financing and money laundering, the deputy head of the European Commission's delegation in Moscow said Thursday.

Paul Vandoren said the European Commission and the Council of Europe will contribute €3.5 million ($4.5 million) through 2010 on a program to assist Russia in its continuing enforcement efforts. Alexander Seger, the head of the Council of Europe's technical cooperation division in the Department of Crime Problems, said that Russia and the EU already have considerable experience working together to stop financial crimes. Russia is an active participant in the international fight against money laundering and a full-fledged member of the Egmont Group, he said, referring to the coordinating body for international financial intelligence units (FIUs) formed in 1995 to promote and enhance international cooperation in anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing. He said that international money laundering and terrorism financing registered a 15-fold increase in 2006 and early 2007 over previous years, although he did not cite any specific figures for Russia. (