20 November, 2020
A. EAG Plenary background
The EAG 33rd Plenary and working group meetings were held remotely on 9-12 and 19-20 November 2020, attended by representatives of the EAG member states, the FATF Secretariat as well as EAG observer countries and organizations.
The Plenary meeting was chaired by EAG Chairman Mr. Yu. Chikhanchin (Russian Federation) and Deputy EAG Chairman Mr. F. Bilolov (Tajikistan).
B. Key issues discussed at the Plenary meeting
Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, cooperation between EAG member states in strengthening national AML/CFT systems continues, with focus on the identification, analysis and mitigation of the ML/TF risks across Eurasia, a task made particularly relevant by the trends emerging during the pandemic. To help tackle these challenges, the EAG member states are provided with additional technical assistance.
The Plenary considered amendments to EAG statutory and governing documents, as well as to the 2nd Round Mutual Evaluation Procedures. By the decision of the Plenary, the EAG evaluation cycle remains suspended with the possibility to apply reasonable flexibility in its renewal. The new schedule for the evaluation of India has been approved, as well as the schedule for the EAG Plenaries.
The EAG Secretariat presented reports on the implementation of the pilot project to coordinate the provision of TA to Tajikistan and on the provision of technical assistance to Kazakhstan. The EAG members thanked the donors and providers who actively participate in TA projects: ADB, IMF and ITMCFM. The next reports will be presented at the EAG 34th Plenary meeting.
The Plenary approved a concept note on the establishing of the EAG expert pool, the maintenance of which should facilitate the effective and timely selection of the most qualified candidates for short-term and urgent projects in the field of AML/CFT.
The Plenary agreed on the concept of preparing a document on conducting financial investigations in the Eurasian region.
The Plenary adopted the report on the EAG Secretariat's activities during the intersessional period, as well as the EAG Work Plan 2021.
C. AML/CFT situation in the EAG countries
The EAG members briefed the Plenary on their experience in mitigating the ML/TF risks stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Plenary emphasized the need for a rapid response to the emerging COVID-19 related ML/TF threats. It was noted that the EAG members work hard to identify and analyze new ML/TF schemes in the region, help raise awareness among state bodies 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.
The EAG members have confirmed their intention to expand interaction with the private sector and approved the basic principles of the International Compliance Council’s work.
The Plenary thanked the International Training and Methodology Center for Financial Monitoring (ITMCFM) for its excellent organization of the EAG virtual 33rd Plenary and working group meetings.
The 34th EAG Plenary will be held in the Republic of Tajikistan in May, 2021.