18 December 2017
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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

18.04.2016

Fighting corruption and related crimes (By Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and related crimes are global problems that concern all nations. They destabilise economies, violate human rights, create social tensions, undermine the principle of justice and democracy. Unfortunately the profile of that issue has risen greatly over the past few decades.
International co-operation is essential to assisting countries to effectively implement the best practice to fight corruption, and to identify vulnerabilities to protect the financial system from abuse. A particular focus is to increase transparency and ensure that countries create the proper frameworks to disclose the beneficial ownership.
Recognizing the threat to national interests and taking into account the difficulties of identifying corruption and money-laundering in the international financial system Russia is actively involved in the broad international dialogue on anti-corruption matters, and is ready to share its best practices and experiences. Our multilateral approach enables us to use the UN, IMF, World Bank, FATF and other relevant organizations in the fight against these common threats.
In Russia, we have developed a corruption prevention system, which is based on our country’s legal culture and takes into account Russia’s historical and socio-economic background. The business community can and must make a contribution to this common effort. Although empowering authorities is critical to pursuing illicit financial activities, we believe it essential for the financial sector to have in place strong preventive measures to dissuade such conduct from the outset.
One of the major challenges nowadays in this regard are growing activities of offshore companies frequently used to dodge taxes and hide illicit wealth. The recent leakage of “Panama Papers” has been a good reminder of that. The prime responsibility for this lies with national governments, many of which should do more to make their finances transparent. Our task should be to persuade the appropriate island countries’ authorities to take adequate measures in strengthening international co-operation and data sharing, etc. But let’s not forget that the mentioned territories are barely the tip of the iceberg.
As James Anderson of “PAM Insight” rightly mentioned in his letter to “The Financial Times” of 7 April 2016, Panama, like other offshore territories of its kind, is a tiny patch of land that has had to innovate and adapt to survive in a world dominated by much larger, richer countries. What should be of much greater significance is that larger countries eradicate these offshoring practices in their own territories. Patricia Cohen wrote in “ The International New York Times” of 8 April 2016, that in some places in the US territory “it can be more difficult to get a fishing license than to register an anonymous shell company”.
One is compelled to agree that if the EU, OECD and the international community at large are serious about tackling corruption, international money-laundering and tax evasion, then it is high time major nations start tackling those back home. On 12th May 2016 the UK will hold an Anti-Corruption Summit in London. We hope that this event will cover the broadest possible range of corruption and similar crime-related issues.




LATEST EVENTS

29.11.2017 - Afghan opium production jumps to record level (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.


19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?


18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.


05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.


05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.


30.09.2017 - Russia’s initiative on protecting SMM OSCE in South-East of Ukraine (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 5th September, at the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has announced an initiative to establish the United Nations Mission on Support in Protecting the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) OSCE in the South-East of Ukraine.


25.09.2017 - Eurasian Economic Union today (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Though hardly noticeable in the Western media, the Eurasian economic cooperation is booming, with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) becoming an increasingly effective integration project. The unique format of enhanced economic coordination along with the EAEU member states’ retained political sovereignty and cultural identity is proving itself.


25.09.2017 - On Russia's assistance to Central Asia (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia attaches great importance to the issue of sustainable development as it is underlined by the UN. Among our priorities in this area is the development of Central Asia. We contribute to the development of this region on a regular basis, regardless of the global economic crisis and its negative effect on Russia’s economy. In today’s world, international aid is often politically motivated and aimed at exerting one’s influence. Russia has a different approach.


25.09.2017 - IX BRICS Summit – turning into a global organisation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, has emphasized the proximity of positions of the member states on the current global problems. It demonstrated that over the last 10 years BRICS has grown into a full-fledged international mechanism for global cooperation.


08.09.2017 - SCO sets standards for countering extremism (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In June 2017, the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) signed the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, which will help strengthen the international legal framework to address new challenges and threats as well as increase the effectiveness of cooperation between relevant authorities of the member states and to improve legislation in this area.



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