We summarised in May the recommendations of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK. The Government has now published its response, which (inter alia):
- Emphasises the Government’s commitment to counter Russia’s “malign activity” and “tackling illicit finance” including using sanctions and Unexplained Wealth Orders.
- Explains (in response to the committee’s question as to how EN+ could float on the London Stock Exchange given Russia sanctions) that EN+ was not sanctioned when listed, the Financial Conduct Authority had concluded there would be no sanctions breach, and the US designation under CAATSA in April 2018 was not something to which the UK was party.
- States that it has “established several multilateral working groups on specific sanctions regimes, including one on Russia”, will publish the names of people to be sanctioned by the UK for gross human rights violations under the new Sanctions & AML Act 2018, and undertakes that when it reports to Parliament each year on its sanctions regulations it will highlight and respond to recommendations made by Parliamentary committees.
- Responds in detail to the report’s suggestion that it limit the issuance of Russian debt on global markets and prohibit the purchase of bonds in which a sanctioned entity has acted as bookrunner.
- Reports on progress on registers of beneficial ownership in overseas territories.