A Russian-American tax information exchanges agreement currently in the making, must comply with international standards and guarantee an appropriate protection to Russian financial institutions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Consultations on drafting an agreement that would allow the two countries to exchange tax information on an equitable basis were started a long tome ago by the Russian and American finance ministries with active participation of the Russian Central Bank and Foreign Ministry, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary.

This work is being done on commission from the Russian government and in coordination with Russian bankers, it said.

"Greater transparency in the fiscal sector is an important aspect of our efforts in the international arena, including in the context of Russia's presidency in the G20 and its joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Council of Europe's convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters.

Precisely in this tonality do we maintain dialogue with the U.S. administration, arguing that the approaches set forth in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) are counterproductive, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Our position is well known: this law is of exterritorial essence and is at odds with the principle of sovereign equality. It demands that foreign lending-financial institutions comply with the American legislation. We do not intended to assume unilateral commitments and we are working to ensure that tax information exchanges be mutual and balanced," it said.

"Russia is convinced that the Russian-American agreement now in the making must comply with the generally accepted international standards and guarantee a reliable protection to our financial institutions," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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