03:23 GMT +313 November 2019
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    Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas

    Estonian Prime Minister Counts on Cooperation With US in Fighting Money Laundering

    © AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino
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    TALLIN (Sputnik) - Estonia has progressed in mitigating financial risks over the past years, especially through IT means, and seeks cooperation with the United States, particularly in the fight against money laundering, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said.

    "Money laundering is an international problem, and the cooperation with the US in solving it is very important", Ratas said at a meeting with bankers in the United States, when speaking about how the Estonian government "strives to make the financial sector stronger and more secure".

    He stressed that Estonia is especially trying to come up with new digital solutions for financial risks, including through the innovative means of their detection, prevention and mitigation.

    "We have a lot to offer. The Estonian economy is part of the European Union, it is flexible and innovative, our IT-sector and e-government set an example for the rest of the world. The US market is very large, and its opportunities are very important for our exporters", Ratas said.

    According to the prime minister, an enhanced financial inspection and stricter legislation brought Estonia into a completely different situation than several years ago.

    Estonia found itself in an international money laundering scandal last year when the Estonian branch of Denmark's Danske Bank was alleged in processing up to $234 million worth of suspicious transactions, the bigger part of which was presumably received illegally by clients from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and other countries. An Estonian branch of another European bank, Sweden's Swedbank, was confronted with similar allegations, namely that it had processed at least $3.8 billion worth of suspicious transactions from 2007-2015.

    Investigations into the matter are underway in Estonia, Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    United States, cooperation, financial risks, money laundering, Juri Ratas, Estonia
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