UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia's U.N. ambassador said Tuesday he wants the U.N. Security Council to prevent terrorists from selling Iraqi and Syrian oil to finance their illegal activities.
Vitaly Churkin told Russian journalists that Russia will circulate a "document" — almost certainly a draft resolution — in the near future to address the issue.
"We know that terrorist organizations are doing illegal oil trading from the territory of both Syria and Iraq," he said.
In March, the Security Council condemned the illicit export of crude oil from Libya and authorized U.N. member states to board suspect vessels and return illegally seized oil to the Libyan government.
The council acted three days after U.S. Navy SEAL commandos seized a tanker off Cyprus containing Libyan oil that a militia controlling the country's oil terminals was trying to export in defiance of the central government.
Churkin told reporters Monday that al-Qaida-inspired terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, who are active in Syria and have captured a large swath of Iraqi territory, and other terrorist groups must be stopped from selling oil from fields they have taken over.
Churkin said the language in the Libya resolution could be useful but the situation in Iraq and Syria is "slightly more difficult."
"We think the situation is even more dramatic, because in the case of Libya it was some people who were not associated with the government and not necessarily being affiliated to any terrorist groups who were trying to sell oil," Churkin said.
He said the ability of terrorists to sell oil to foreign bidders amounts to "financing of terrorists," and those who buy the oil are financing terrorism.
"There is no other way to explain it, to see it," he said. "So we think that the Security Council should look into this issue very thoroughly."
Less than three weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the Security Council adopted a resolution requiring all countries to stop supporting, financing and providing sanctuary to terrorists.
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