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Tuesday 15th
posted by Morning Star in World

Ambassador Churkin accuses pair of illegally flouting UN anti-terrorist resolution

RUSSIA’s envoy to the UN accused the US and Turkey yesterday of violating international law by failing to provide the security council information on Islamic State (Isis) oil activities.

Vitaly Churkin reminded his counterparts that under UN resolution 2199, introduced in February 2015 to obstruct trade links with terrorist groups operating in Iraq and Syria, “countries are obliged to provide information” on Isis’s financial activities.

“That means the Americans had to provide such information and of course Turkey, which should have reported any illegal trade going on there. They didn’t do it,” he told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

The diplomat revealed that a new UN resolution on illegal oil trade was being prepared.

“Together with the Americans, we’re drafting a new resolution tightening regulations on that kind of reporting,” he said.

“We could authorise the secretary-general to deliver regular reports on the issue or it would be some sort of counter-terrorist agencies. We hope to adopt this resolution on December 17.”

Mr Churkin contrasted US military operations in Syria to Russia’s role there.

“You’ve been flying there for a year, we’ve been there for two months and already provided many photos showing that oil is smuggled through the Turkish border,” he said.

“They (the US) must have known and, if they did, they should have reported it to the security council.”

Resolution 2199 was adopted unanimously to reduce funding to Isis, al-Qaida and other militant groups operating inside Iraq and Syria.

It was also introduced to try to halt Isis’s multimillion-dollar trade in oil, antiquities and hostages in both countries.

Mr Churkin’s comments mirror a continued deterioration in Russian-Turkish ties since the downing of a Russian warplane on November 24 on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Tensions also escalated on Sunday when a Russian warship fired shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean Sea when it allegedly ignored warnings to maintain a respectable distance.

Russia’s Defence Ministry warned the Turkish military attache in Moscow against such “reckless” behaviour.

Mr Churkin suggested that recent US-led coalition air strikes on the Syrian army may not have been an accident and could be repeated.