Similarly to the Plenary meeting conducted in Buenos Aires in November 2017, one of the main issues on the agenda was the continued discussion on interpreting the FATF standards for countering the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. After a keen discussion the paragraphs beyond the provisions of the UN Security Council non-proliferation resolutions and the FATF Recommendations were excluded from the final document.
The anti-terrorism efforts remained among the priorities for the FATF. A new Action Plan on Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) was approved and the Russian initiative to identify the sources and channels of the ISIL financing, taking into account the previously approved extension of its scope by including information on Al-Qaida and its associated individuals, groups and terrorist organizations, was made one of its paragraphs as a permanent item on the plenary meetings' agenda. In the future a separate public statement with regard to countries that make insufficient efforts to combat the financing of terrorism will be issued regularly.
The Plenary summarized the interim results of the project launched at the suggestion of Russia to study the best CFT strategies that will allow to provide technical assistance to countries with no experience in this area when implemented.
As part of a large-scale work on identifying and eliminating the international money laundering infrastructure, the outcomes of the next stage of the Russian study of activities of professional shady networks and cross-border financial flows generated by them were announced.
The discussion on the mutual evaluation report of Iceland resulted in placing the country in enhanced follow-up and inviting it to report to the Plenary once a year.
The reports on the progress of Spain and Norway, which managed to improve their ratings, were approved.
With regard to Brazil, the only FATF country that has not completed the previous evaluation round, a hope emerged that it will be removed from the follow-up process this year.
The lists of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their national AML/CFT systems were updated.
According to the review, the FATF blacklist remained unchanged (DPRK and Iran), while Iran managed to maintain the status quo for the suspension of active countermeasures until June 2018.
Serbia was placed on the greylist, which now includes 9 jurisdictions: Vanuatu, Iraq, Yemen, Serbia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia. By June 2018 Pakistan will also be greylisted after agreeing a specially developed plan for correcting the situation with incomplete fulfillment of obligations under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267. Hungary had a narrow escape from being submitted to the follow-up process due to the impressive progress made by the country in a year's time in implementing the recommendations of international experts contained in the evaluation report. In connection with the positive results of the FATF on-site visit to Sarajevo in January 2018, a decision was taken to exclude Bosnia and Herzegovina from the FATF lists.
The process of admitting Indonesia as the FATF observer continued. In May 2018, a high-level mission will be sent to the country to assess the level of compliance with international standards and the willingness of state leaders to fulfill their commitments to the FATF, its modalities were agreed.
The negotiations on coordination and cooperation with the FATF President and Secretariat, as well as meetings with representatives of Argentina, Bahrain, Hungary, Germany, India, China, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Serbia and France were organized.
The next FATF Plenary meeting is scheduled to take place in Paris in June 2018.