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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Financial Monitor Chief Plans to Quit

VedomostiViktor Zubkov
Federal Financial Monitoring ­Service chief Viktor Zubkov will leave his post to take a seat in the Federation Council, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing a Finance Ministry source.

"He is planning to quit," the source said, adding that the decision may be connected with the retirement age laid down for civil servants in Russia. Zubkov turned 65 years old in ­September.

Federal Financial Monitoring Service spokesman Mikhail Vinitskovsky declined to comment on news reports about Zubkov's departure.

Interfax quoted State Duma deputy for United Russia Sergei Popov, ­however, as saying Zubkov has been put forward by his party as candidate for a seat in the Federation Council to represent Omsk region.

Candidates to the upper house must be nominated by the governor and subsequently be approved by the legislative assembly.

A United Russia spokeswoman Tuesday confirmed the party's proposal, adding that the party presidium supported the decision by party representatives in Omsk to advance Zubkov's candidacy.

Zubkov was appointed head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, which oversees the government's campaign against money laundering, after it was created by presidential decree in November 2001.

Speaking last week at a conference on banking irregularities, Zubkov called for stricter control over cash transactions.

"We would like to gather all the ­information we can about cash transactions of over 600,000 rubles ($22,900)," Zubkov said, RIA-Novosti reported. Zubkov said a bill addressing the issue would soon be submitted to the Duma.

Novaya Gazeta reported on Wednesday that circles close to the siloviki, a faction that consists of the nation's current and former leaders of the security services and law enforcement agencies, to which Zubkov is reported to have close links, have been conducting a whispering campaign to have the Central Bank stripped of its powers to scrutinize the banking sector.

In the 1990s, Zubkov served in ­various positions in St. Petersburg, including as deputy chairman of the external relations committee of the Mayor's Office from January 1992 to 1993, when the committee was headed by Putin.