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MOSCOW, October 22./TASS/. Terrorist groups in Syria continue receiving support from abroad, including weapons and gunmen, what hampers the fight against them, an official spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
"We have information that terrorist groups continue receiving support from abroad," Maria Zakharova said. "It is clear that without this support the victory over terrorists would have been won much earlier."
The diplomat also voiced concerns as extremists are recruiting civilians for being used as "human shields." "This is done by the Army of Islam in Eastern Guta near Damascus and extremist groups near Homs," she said, adding that terrorists also destroy civilian infrastructure facilities in Syria.
The positive trend is that the number of fighters who defect from terrorist groups is on the rise, Zakharova said.
According to Zakharova the efforts to disrupt financing of terrorist activity in the Middle East depend on some countries’ good conscience.
"The prospects of disrupting the financial fundamentals of terrorist activity in the Middle East will depend on the degree of interaction and good conscience of some states," the diplomat said.
‘We’re calling on everyone to cooperate on this very acute issue," she added.
"UN Security Council Resolution 2199 [on combatting financing of terrorist organizations through their illegal trade in oil and oil products] has set a mechanism of submitting reports on the implementation of its provisions. So far, the mechanism has not started to work in full. Amid the persisting problem acuteness, this causes serious concern," Zakharova said.
In this situation, Russia "continues to urge all UN member states to submit available data to the UN Security Council on the facts of terrorists’ illegal oil trade and report on measures they are taking," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman noted that several rounds of talks are planned for Friday in Vienna, including a bilateral meeting on Syria between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry and a meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
"The foreign minister and the Russian delegation will take part in negotiations in Vienna tomorrow," Zakharova said. "Several rounds of talks will be held. In the morning - with US State Secretary John Kerry. After that, a meeting will take place in the format Russia-US-Saudi Arabia-Turkey," she added. The spokesperson added that the talks will focus on the Syrian settlement.