In their Joint Statement on further restrictive economic measures released on 26 February 2022, the governments of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States condemned the war of aggression led by Russia against Ukraine, announcing the adoption of a broad range of initiatives and measures against the leaders of the Russian regime.
The measures include the establishment of a Transatlantic Task Force responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of financial sanctions by identifying and freezing the assets that can be traced back to designated individuals and companies.
Within the Transatlantic Task Force, the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States set up a Working Group to help develop and collaborate on the initiatives under way.
The objectives of the Working Group are set out in the Statement of Intent approved by the FIUs on 16 March 2022:
- to contribute to the effective application of the restrictive measures decided by the international community, providing guidance to the private sector and combating elusive behaviour;
- to utilize the tools of analysis and cooperation for identifying and tracing assets held by Russia's ruling class.
At the same time, the statement recalls the different tasks and powers assigned to the FIUs in the area of financial sanctions, whose expansion and strengthening appears desirable.