Russia said to lead UN effort to curb Islamic State's cash flow

Published Thu, Feb 5, 2015 · 12:21 AM
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[UNITED NATIONS] Russia has drafted a United Nations Security Council resolution intended to increase pressure on governments to cut off cash flowing to Islamic State, according to a Russian diplomat and three other UN diplomats.

The draft, which already has been circulated to the four other permanent members of the Security Council, will target the extremist militant group's three main sources of revenue - illegal oil exports, the sale of antiquities and ransom from hostage-taking, said two European diplomats at the UN in New York. The diplomats all asked not to be identified commenting on continued negotiations over the proposal.

Russia, which rarely writes Security Council resolutions, is taking the lead as it harbors growing concern over radicals from its Chechnya region joining Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the two diplomats said. The resolution will express the international community's resolve to take more action against the extremist group, which most recently executed a captured Jordanian pilot and two Japanese citizens, they said.

The Russian mission to the UN is working on a draft resolution and hopes that it will be adopted in the coming days, Alexey Zaytsev, the mission's spokesman, said in a text message without confirming what it will say.

An Arab diplomat to the UN said Russia also may have been moved to act because siding with Syrian President Bashar al- Assad has weakened its ties with Gulf nations and, in turn, its influence in the Middle East.

Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been calling for Assad's ouster since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, while also pushing for action against Islamic State forces that have seized a swath of Syria and Iraq.


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