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Choke financial support to IS, says Russia

IANS 22 Nov 2014, 6:22:07 AM IST

Moscow: The supply of funds for the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) must be cut off, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Friday.

"Financial flows to the IS must be cut off through approaches based on international law and respect for the sovereignty of related countries," Xinhua quoted Bogdanov as saying.

He noted that the IS has become the most affluent terrorist organisation that ever existed, receiving financial support not only from outside, but also amassing wealth through drug trafficking and oil proceeds from the sites it has seized.

Bogdanov noted that the group's assets are used to finance arms purchases and recruit mercenaries from around the world, the Xinhua report said, citing the Interfax news agency.

The Russian deputy foreign minister stressed that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) must take the principal responsibility in fighting extremist groups like the IS.

He accused the US of not complying with the international law in the fight against the IS.

"Actions of the US-led coalition do not comply with the international law and the generally-accepted practice of countering terrorism."

The coalition does not coordinate its operations with the Syrian government, Bogdanov said, adding that ground operations to fight the militants should only be conducted by the armed forces of Iraq and Syria.

"All assistance should be provided to related states like Iraq and Syria to ensure that their armies, as well as police forces are well-trained and armed," Bogdanov said.

The IS, formerly called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni jihadi organisation.

It has seized vast swathes of territory in northern Iraq since June and announced the establishment of a "caliphate" in the areas under its control in Syria and Iraq.

The group has been named a terrorist organisation by the UN and European Union (EU).