Kleptocracy Daily: March 3, 2017

News

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will recuse himself from any probe related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. (WaPo)

EU ambassadors decided to prolong asset freezes against Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovych and 14 of his associates. (RFE/RL)

Oregon lawmakers will hold a public hearing Monday on a bill designed to rein in abusive, anonymous companies. (Portland Business Journal)

U.S. multinational companies now have access to instructions for filing on their global tax and profits–this will require an “ultimate parent” company of a global group to file a separately or each tax jurisdiction. (Bloomberg)

Ukrainian state agencies sought to detain the head of the tax and customs service on Friday over the alleged embezzlement of around $75 million. (Reuters)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the burgeoning investigation into meetings between U.S. officials and the Russian ambassador “a witch hunt.” (Moscow Times)

Chinese President Xi Jinping tapped a new general to head the body in charge of tackling military corruption, leading to speculation that the former was removed due to potential corruption; Xi also vowed to “unswervingly crack down on illegal activities” during a financial work meeting yesterday. (SCMP)

Despite his efforts to combat corruption, the wealth of China’s uber-rich lawmakers under President Xi grew faster than  its economy; their combined wealth is close to the GDP of Belgium at more than $507 billion. (Reuters)

A member on the Senate Banking Committee called on the Treasury Department to investigate whether Trump’s business empire violates international financial sanctions and terrorism funding laws. (The Hill)

Features

Transparency International UK’s latest report, ‘Faulty Towers: Understanding the Impact of Overseas Corruption on the London Property Market’.  

In his latest analysis, Mark Galeotti believes “for the West today, the greatest security threat is not Russian tanks or Russian disinformation, it is our own corruption – and the ways Russia seeks to use it.” (In Moscow’s Shadows)

“We are sliding back,” Ukrainian MP Sergii Leshchenko explained, emphasizing that anticorruption reform in Ukraine appeared far more promising just a year ago. (Atlantic Council) 

One Chinese historian has already touted President Jinping’s “elimination of political rivals through the anti-corruption campaign” as the greatest achievement of his presidency. (Financial Times)