Russia may be strike off the "black list" of money-laundering countries, vice-premier and finance minister of Russia Alexei Kudrin reported to journalists in Washington. According to him, such a decision could be made on the results of the visit of a mission of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) to Russia next spring. Kudrin indicated that this October will see an issue of the decree on setting up a committee for financial monitoring as a plenipotentiary body combating "dirty money" laundering. Real actions to fulfil the law on combating legalisation of criminal proceeds will serve as a basis for Russia's striking off the "black list," the vice-premier said. A special procedure is needed to this end, Kudrin said. FATF is expected to send its mission to Russia to study the situation on the spot, after which it will submit the issue for a regular session. Since FATF gathers in session twice a year, the mission is expected to pay its visit in spring, when a regular session will be planned, the vice-premier noted. As was indicated earlier, Russia is likely to be stricken off the "black list" in June 2002.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign