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The Daily Vertical: Moscow's New 'Fellow Travelers' (Transcript)


The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

The Kremlin's "black cash" corrodes our financial system, corrupts our political institutions, subverts the rule of law, and undermines our values.

The Kremlin's black cash buys networks of influence, funds xenophobic movements, and finances "black ops" and "active measures."

The Kremlin's black cash can be used to sabotage our elections and democracies.

The Kremlin's black cash is indeed the new Red Menace.

For the countries of the West, the Kremlin's black cash is a deadly serious threat to national security.

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But here's the thing:

As this week's important report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project on Russian money laundering starkly illustrates, the Kremlin's black cash wouldn't be undermining the West at all if the West hadn't let it in the door.

Because a lot of Western bankers, brokers, accountants, lawyers, and estates agents are making a tidy profit from the Kremlin's black cash.

And in the process, they are aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin's campaign to undermine the foundations of Western democracy.

They're Putin's "fellow travelers."

During the Cold War, Soviet elites claimed that the West's corruption and decadence would ultimately do it in.

They claimed that Western liberal capitalism contained within it the seeds of its own demise.

They were wrong then, of course.

And more than a quarter-century after the Soviet collapse, it would be worse than a tragedy if they turned out to be right today.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

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