On October 2, 2008 Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) announced the formation of a new anticartel department to be headed by Alexander Kinev, the FAS’ former chief of the Department for State Service and Staff. Anticartel enforcement has been an area of increasing concern for the FAS, and Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Vladimir V. Putin, has publicly called for tougher enforcement of the antimonopoly laws against cartel participants.

The FAS has outlined three preliminary objectives for the new department: (i) drafting new legislation to strengthen FAS’ enforcement capabilities and the statutory penalties for cartel behavior; (ii) improving the FAS leniency program for parties that disclose violations of the anticartel provisions and cooperate in the prosecution of other violators and (iii) carrying out inquiries of markets that the FAS believes are controlled by cartels.