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Opinions & Interviews

15 Nov 2018

International interest in Belarus’ experience of control over virtual assets

International interest in Belarus’ experience of control over virtual assets

MINSK, 15 November (BelTA) – In control over virtual assets Belarus is at the forefront among countries of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG). The international community is interested Belarus’ experience in this regard, BelTA learned from EAG Executive Secretary Vladimir Nechayev during a plenary session of the organization in Minsk.

According to the source, the EAG works in accordance with standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which are mandatory for all countries. FATF is now closely interested in the problem of virtual assets. Proposals to amend 15 recommendations, including those concerning virtual currencies, will be prepared by February. “Belarus is slightly ahead of our other countries in regulations on this matter. This is why the Belarusian experience is very interesting,” said the official.

The meeting in Minsk is also important from the point of view of the ongoing evaluation of the national system designed to combat money laundering. “We’ve arranged a seminar for the private sector and oversight agencies so that they could be told about the importance of the problems under consideration and what aspects of the FATF standards deserve more attention. I think it was a very useful event not only for the EAG but first of all for Belarus,” added Vladimir Nechayev.

The main stage of the evaluation campaign will take place in March 2019. A positive score will help improve the country’s credit ratings and other ones. The previous evaluation took place ten years ago and was generally positive.

Combat against terrorism financing was also mentioned. “Our region, particularly Central Asia countries, is more vulnerable in this regard. The risk is minimal in Belarus. Nevertheless, it is our common problem and task,” said the EAG executive secretary.

Established in 2004, the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) is an international intergovernmental organization designed to enable effective cooperation at the regional level and integrate EAG member states into the international system for the counteraction of money laundering and terrorism financing. The EAG members are nine countries: Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The plenary session in Minsk gathered about 250 representatives of the EAG member states as well as representatives of countries and international organizations with the observer status.

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