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We Know Who Benefits From Oil Smuggling Operations in Turkey - Putin

© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the photo bankRussian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International
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Putin said that Russia knows who benefits from oil smuggling in Turkey.

Vladimir Putin said Russia knows who benefits from oil smuggling in Turkey and who who is recruiting new militants.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers the annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly - Sputnik International
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"We know, for example, who is filling their pockets and who is allowing terrorists to profit from oil stolen from Syria in Turkey. This is the money the criminals use to recruit mercenaries, purchase weapons, organize inhuman terrorist attacks against our people, the people of France, Lebanon and Mali," Putin said, addressing the Federal Assembly.

© Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation / Go to the photo bankOil transportation routes into Turkey. Maximum available quality. (Still frames of the Russian Defense Ministry.)
Oil transportation routes into Turkey. Maximum available quality. (Still frames of the Russian Defense Ministry.) - Sputnik International
Oil transportation routes into Turkey. Maximum available quality. (Still frames of the Russian Defense Ministry.)

The president stressed that Russia differentiated between the Turkish people and its leadership.

"The Turkish people are kind, hardworking and talented. We have many old and trustworthy friends in Turkey. And I stress – they must know that we do not equate them to the part of the current authorities who are directly responsible for the deaths of the our servicemen in Turkey," Putin said.

Russia has repeatedly stated that Turkey is the main consumer of illegal oil from Syria and Iraq, accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of direct involvement in the oil business of the Islamic State terrorist group, known as Daesh in the Arab world and outlawed in Russia.

Turkey is complicit in funding the Islamic State militant group through purchase on the territory of Turkey of crude oil stolen from fields captured by ISIL - Sputnik International
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Erdogan responded to Russian accusations of his family's involvement in Daesh oil smuggling by claiming he would resign if unquestionable evidence on the matter was presented.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday Moscow would hand over to the United Nations and all interested countries solid proof of Turkey's involvement in illicit oil trade with terrorists.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, IS earns around $2 billion annually, spending these funds on hiring militants from around the world and equipping them with weapons.

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