Russian Gov’t Approves European Convention against Terrorism Financing*
The Russian government has approved the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism and recommended the document for ratification by the parliament.
The government statement that recommends President Vladimir Putin submit the convention to the State Duma for ratification was published on the cabinet’s website on Friday. The bill on ratification of the convention has been prepared jointly by the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian State Agency for Financial Monitoring.
The Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism was introduced in May 2005 and signed by Russia in January 2009. The explanatory note published by the government as an attachment to the bill on the ratification of the convention reads that, once ratified, the document would boost the effectiveness of cooperation between Russian and foreign agencies targeting terrorism and money laundering.
The convention is also expected to give additional impetus for international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
Russia introduced the latest major package of anti-terrorist amendments to its legislation about a year ago, making international terrorism a separate crime punished with up to 10 years in prison, as well as ordering up to 15 years behind bars for anyone found guilty of financing terrorist groups.
Attracting new recruits to a terrorist organization was also criminalized, and will be punished with prison terms of between five and 10 years. Public calls for terrorism and public justification of terrorist crimes were also criminalized, with possible punishment of up to seven years in prison.
The new bill also lowered the age threshold for terrorist crimes, such as terrorist attacks and hostage taking, to 14 years of age from the current 16. Presently the age of minors in Russia is 16, with exceptions for crimes such as murder, rape, kidnapping and several others, where the age of criminal responsibility is 14.
Most recent changes to the Russian anti-terrorist laws was made in late May this year when Putin signed into law the bill that introduced administrative surveillance for people who have committed terrorist crimes and have already served their sentences.