19:09 GMT24 January 2021
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    Moscow could raise the issue of imposing sanctions on Ankara over Daesh oil smuggling, Russia's UN envoy said.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Russia could raise the issue of imposing sanctions on Turkey at the UN Security Council in light of oil smuggling by the Islamic State (IS, or Daesh in the Arab world) terrorist group but Moscow is yet to make a decision, Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said.

    "In theory, of course, [imposing sanctions on Turkey] is possible. But we live in the real world. You can see that NATO decided to shield Turkey in the case with our downed plane. Others condemn Turkey on the sidelines, but they try not to do it openly. That's why we, given the reality of it, must predict what can happen," Churkin told RIA Novosti.

    Answering a question whether Moscow could raise the issue of anti-Turkey sanctions at the UN Security Council, the envoy said it was possible.

    "We can. If we want to. It is a political decision what issues to raise… The tactic must be carefully thought through in this matter," Churkin said.

    Turkey has recently been criticized by some US-led coalition members for weak border control with Syria's Daesh-held territories. The US Department of State has raised concern over the issue of the 98-kilometer (61-mile) stretch of the Turkey-Syria border that is controlled by Daesh.

    US, Turkey Fail to Notify UN Security Council of Daesh Oil Smuggling

    The United States and Turkey should have notified the UN Security Council of oil smuggling by Daesh but failed to do so, Churkin said.

    "I asked [US commanders in the Pentagon] a very simple question: 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. Didn't you know about it? They must have known, and if they did, they should have reported it to the Security Council."

    "Under Resolution 2199, which was adopted in February at our initiative, countries must provide information to the Security Council if they have such information. Which means, that the Americans must provide this information. Not to mention Turkey, which should have reported any illegal trade if it is happening there. They didn't do it," Churkin said.

    The Russian UN envoy also said that Moscow and Washington were preparing a new Security Council resolution that they expect to adopt on December 17, which can oblige the UN Secretary General to report to the council on the situation with oil trade by terrorists.

    "That's why now we, together with the Americans, are preparing a new resolution with stricter requirements on reporting on this issue. Maybe, the Secretary General will be obliged to report regularly or some existing counter-terrorism bodies. The format is under discussion," Churkin said.

    Earlier in December, the Russian Defense Ministry unveiled satellite images that showed a Daesh convoy transporting up to 200,000 barrels of crude in at least 1,722 trucks to third-party countries, most notably Turkey.

    Following Moscow's revelations, US officials confirmed that oil trade between Daesh and some buyers in Turkey exist but claimed that the volume of oil smuggled from Daesh-controlled territories into the country was economically insignificant.

    Daesh is outlawed in many countries, including Russia.

    Russian UN Envoy Confident Syria's Representative to Address UNSC on December 18

    Churkin expressed confidence that Syria's Permanent Representative Bashar Jaafari would address the UN Security Council on December 18 if the meeting takes place.

    "He has the right to speak under the Security Council regulations. I'm sure that Bashar Jaafari will give a speech… He held talks when [former UN envoy to Syria] Lakhdar Brahimi was in office, headed the Syrian negotiators in Geneva. I'm sure [Jaafari will address the Security Council], it's his right," Churkin told RIA Novosti.

    According to Churkin, the United States is planning to present a resolution to the UN Security Council supporting international negotiations on Syrian peace after the upcoming round of talks in New York this Friday.

    The New York talks were announced last Tuesday by US State Secretary John Kerry, who said that a fresh round of Syria reconciliation talks in Vienna format would be held on December 18.

    Ahead of the meeting, Syrian opposition parties met in Riyadh last week for a three-day conference aimed at bridging differences. They demanded that Syria's President Bashar Assad step down to put the country on the path toward political transition.


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    oil smuggling, The Syrian war, Daesh, UN Security Council, Bashar Jaafari, Vitaly Churkin, Turkey, Russia
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