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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Amnesty' Plan Draws First Taker

A large Russian bank that apparently exported capital illegally is now seeking to return it under an amnesty proposed by the new chief of the Kremlin's powerful Security Council, Interfax reported Tuesday.


The news agency did not identify the bank, but quoted sources "close to the Security Council" as saying the bank supported security chief Alexander Lebed's proposals and viewed his presence as "a guarantee of stability and security of Russian businessmen."


The amnesty scheme appeared in a wide-ranging "national security concept" published June 26 by Interfax, which said it was a Lebed policy document.


Among its many proposals was a vague "tax amnesty" for Russian businesses that voluntarily return exported capital and invest it in "capital-intense industries."


A get-tough policy against tax evasion and illegal capital flight were key elements in Lebed's campaign for Russia's presidency.


Western estimates put the amount of capital flight from Russia at $25 billion to $50 billion, though Lebed and others have suggested it is much greater.


?As much as $2 billion probably flowed into Ukraine during Russia's presidential race from investors nervous about the outcome, Reuters reported Friday from Kiev.


"That period was very good for us," said Mykola Melnychuk, head of the Ukraine central bank's currency reserves department. But he said he expected the currency flood to end now that Yeltsin has won re-election.


Melnychuk said it was hard to determine eactly how much money had flowed into the Ukrainian treasury bill market, the main investment vehicle for cash from abroad.