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    RUSSIA READY TO HELP SOME CIS COUNTRIES JOIN EGMONT GROUP

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    MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti). Russia is prepared to help some CIS countries to join the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, First Deputy Finance Minister Viktor Zubkov, who chairs the Financial Monitoring Committee (FMC), said at a CIS conference on co-operation in combating money laundering.

    In particular, Russia plans to help Ukraine join the Egmont Group soon, while Georgia and Moldova hope to follow suit some time later. Russia is effectively exchanging information with the financial intelligence units of 50 countries within the Egmont Group, said Zubkov. He described Russia's entry to the group as "a major step towards integration into the world community that is combating dirty money."

    Zubkov said the FMC plans to hold negotiations and sign co-operation and information exchange agreements with the financial intelligence units of several countries, in particular Japan, Portugal, Canada, South Korea, China, Turkey and Australia. Similar agreements have been signed with ten countries and joint efforts helped expose several corruption schemes.

    Vice-Premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told journalists that Russian courts have on their agenda over ten cases of money laundering.

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