Despite attempts of the Ukrainian government, Ukraine retains its "honorable" seat on the black list of the Financial Action Task Force for Money Laundering (FATF), the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported. This is the result of the recent session of this organization held in Berlin. Ukraine was included on the black list in December 2002 due to a lack of legislation on fighting money laundering. In February Kiev fulfilled a number of FATF requirements. As a result FATF canceled its earlier recommendation to its member states to impose sanctions on Ukraine. However, Ukraine still stays on the black list of countries that do not fight money laundering. At the same time, Ukrainian state authorities are optimistic and they believe that the procedure of removing Ukraine from this list may start at a FATF session in October 2003.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea