Article: UK daily: President urges Britain to curb Belarus money laundering activity

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UK daily: President urges Britain to curb Belarus money laundering activity

Andrew Whyte, 26 May 2021

President Kersti Kaljulaid has called on the United Kingdom to join the European Union in opposition to the Alexander Lukashenko regime in Belarus, along with those of other anti-democratic governments which often use London as a conduit for large scale money-laundering activities, British daily The Guardian reports.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s World at One program Tuesday, the president noted that she had already raised the issue in 2018 following the poisoning of Russian former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the southern English town of Salisbury – thought to be the work of Skripal’s former employer, the GRU – The Guardian reports.

“We were not very shy here in Estonia, also after the Salisbury attack, to point out that there is a lot of [this] money in your own country,” Kaljulaid said, urging sanctions against money laundering of Belarusian origin as well, cash flows which she likened to the lifeblood of the regime and which came at the expense of ordinary Belarusian people.

The EU has announced a new round of sanctions against Belarus following Sunday’s flight hijacking and the arrest of dissident blogger Roman Protasevich.

While the U.K. said after the Skripal incident that action would be taken with regard to money flows of Russian origin, Kaljulaid said it was not clear whether anything substantive had changed, while at the same time, she called on the U.K. to reciprocate in the solidarity offered it by the EU – which it was then still a member state of – following the Salisbury case.

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