Washington International Law Journal


Sam Chung


In the wake of the post-Soviet privatization in the Russian Federation, corruption and organized crime have flourished, contributing to capital flight, economic instability, and the collapse of Russia's financial system. Over the same period, Russian legislators have worked to reform the legal system in order to facilitate their country's transition to democracy and the rule of law. In 1997, legislative efforts led to the enactment of a new criminal code that emphasizes the rights of the individual as opposed to the power of the government. More recently, several draft bills targeting money laundering activities and banking reform have been introduced in the Russian Parliament in an effort to confront Russia's economic crisis. Government corruption and the close connection between organized crime and the banking industry, however, have led to fierce opposition to the enactment of such reform measures. Consequently, these measures have been stalled. To confront the problems of crime and economic crisis, Russia should enact a comprehensive anti-money laundering system that incorporates provisions similar to those contained in the recent draft bills. In light of the success of the U.S. anti-money laundering regime, the enactment of a similar system in Russia would be a significant step towards confronting organized crime, government corruption, and an ailing economy.

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