Why Ukraine does not use real sanctions levers?

Author : Oleksiy Kushch

Source : 112 Ukraine

In fact, we have two realities. In one "DNR / LNR" are recognized as terrorist organizations, but at the same time Ukraine does not do anything under the FATF line to stop their financing
23:30, 17 April 2019


112 Agency

There are long-established causal relationships in the world, which in many cases work in the automatic mode. War is a war, terrorism is a terrorism. None of the states will declare a formal war against terrorists.

But a term called “hybrid war” has recently become very fashionable. Most likely, it hides conceptual chaos rather than a real meaning. After all, military conflicts of low intensity and without a declaration of war occurred earlier.

Just nobody called them hybrid. China’s attack in 1969 on Damansky Island, which belonged to the USSR, in which regular troops from both sides participated, also took place without any official notification from Beijing.

That did not prevent Moscow to use jet artillery. And also without a declaration of war. And there are plenty of such examples in the world history of the last fifty years.

Modern man is too far from understanding the need to call a spade a spade. After all, we live in the era of simulacrum, and this means that with the help of media you can construct any reality. As the famous philosopher Jean Baudrillard said back in 1976, "the principle of simulation rules us today instead of the former principle of reality."

In this system, signs point to other signs, not to real things, and the relationship between them is lost. Baudrillard calls this phenomenon “emancipation of the sign or simulation”, and it covers the whole of modern human history. In this paradigm of constant simulations, neither representative democracy, nor a social revolution is possible.

This does not mean that real shells do not kill real people or do not destroy real houses. This means a change in the attitude of society towards all this. Relatively speaking, one big simulacrum took place in February 2015, when the daughter of the country's prime minister sang a funny song at The Voice: Children competition, and at this time dozens if not hundreds of soldiers died in the Debaltseve.

And society perceives this simulacrum as a reality, not noticing the terrible abyss between the two poles of reality.

Given the simulativeness of political processes, the task of which is to lead people into a virtual "simulacrum" and divert them from the banal redistribution of the gross product, the importance of "naming" things by their proper names becomes unusually high.

We illustrate this with an example. In recent years, at the official level, illegal military formations “DNR / LNR” were called terrorist in our country.

But how should the state act so that, following the “naming” of the phenomenon, the implementation of international causal relationships takes place?

First of all, the main focus of the state sanctions policy in 2014 should have been to curb the systems and mechanisms for financing terrorist activities.

Based on the official position of our state, an ordinary American family, whose relative Lucas Schansman died as a result of the MH17 crash, most recently filed a lawsuit against the US payment systems Western Union Co and Western Union Financial Services, MoneyGram International Inc and MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc., and also against Russian banks: Sberbank of Russia, VTB Bank.

The lawsuit is formulated in accordance with the US Anti-Terrorism Act. “We will never return our son. But we want to shed light and bring to justice all those involved in his murder,” said the deceased’s father, Thomas Schansman.

Among the victims of the tragedy, Lucas Chansman was the only American and, in accordance with US law, his relatives can file claims against all persons directly or indirectly involved.

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According to lawyers, the “DNR” was recognized as a terrorist organization in Ukraine at the official level, while the money that was used by them in the occupied territories was directly or indirectly transferred through the legal world financial system.

But is there at least one appeal of Ukraine to the FATF as an international group on combating the laundering of “dirty” money regarding the financing of the “DNR / LPR” structures?

By the way, at the plenary meeting of the FATF group in October last year, the organization’s priority was to “increase the effectiveness of measures to counter the financing of terrorism (FT).

In this regard, an official FATF statement has been published regarding the risks of FT and measures taken to curb the financing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization, Al-Qaida and related persons, groups and terrorist organizations.

The Plenary session also approved the FATF report on the elimination of financial flows allocated to support terrorist organizations, taking into account relevant best practices and experience of the FATF Global Network.

But neither the “DNR” nor the “LNR” figure in the FATF reports as terrorist organizations. One of the reasons for this is that we did not initiate consideration of this issue within the FATF Group, although Ukraine and the Russian Federation are full members of this organization.

Regarding the above-mentioned ISIL, in 2015, FATF even released a special methodological brochure in which it stated that the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) agreed to launch a four-month project to study the financing of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant terrorist organization.

This study reveals ways to attract, transfer and, finally, use of ISIL funds. This report aims to identify ways of obtaining and transferring funds to ISIL in order to shut off financial flows, deprive organization of its resources, and to prevent abuse in relation to the financial and economic sectors.

It is noteworthy that in 2017, the FATF excluded Russia from the list of states with imperfect legislation in the context of the fight against dirty money. For complicity with terrorism and its financing in the Russian Federation one can get from 10 years imprisonment to life sentence.

In fact, we have two realities. In one "DNR / LNR" are recognized as terrorist organizations, but at the same time Ukraine does not do anything under the FATF line to stop their financing.

In the other, the same FATF notes the Russian Federation as a country that fully complies with all global anti-terrorism requirements, and therefore indirectly does not see anything illegal in the chain of financial transactions in favor of the unrecognized republics.

This once again proves that it is not enough just to name some organizations "terrorist". It is also important to carry out a certain sequence of actions.

Otherwise, we risk getting just another simulacrum, when American citizens are filing lawsuits against Russian banks, which have been working all these years in Ukraine.

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