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Illegal oil traffic across Syrian-Turkish border continues — Lavrov

March 23, 14:13 UTC+3
The flows have however decreased considerably
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Footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site showing fuel tanks hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria

Footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site showing fuel tanks hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria

© AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Illegal oil traffic across the Syrian-Turkish border is still observed, Moscow insists on full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions demanding cessation of trade with terrorists, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday following talks with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Oil traffic still observed

Russia’s top diplomat noted that the ongoing traffic across the Turkish border was observed in both directions. "However, after our Aerospace Forces initiated the operation to terminate the illegal traffic, particularly, of oil and oil products from Syria, from the areas controlled by ISIS (former name of the Islamic State terrorist group outlawed in Russia) to Turkey, this traffic has decreased substantially," he said.

Lavrov added that after the Russian Aerospace Forces paid special attention to this problem, "members of the U.S.-led coalition responded to it."

"In general, although this flow has not run dry altogether, it has decreased considerably," the minister said. "Nevertheless, it is still there. The sector of the border between two Kurdish enclaves in northern Syria is actively used.

The Russian foreign minister drew attention to the fact that when Kurds were trying to win back territory from the Islamic State group, "artillery bombardments of Kurdish positions were conducted from the Turkish side thus hampering their fight against this terrorist group."

Resolutions musts be complied with

"We insist on compliance with UN Security Council resolutions demanding to stop trade with ISIS and other terrorists just as resolutions demanding an end to the flow of foreign terrorists, gunmen via Turkish territory to Syria," Lavrov added.

He noted that these resolutions were binding and envisaged constant accountability of the UN Secretary-General. "The first such report was submitted to the UN Security Council a couple of weeks ago," the minister said. "We took note of the fact that it is non-specific and does not even mention the facts that confirm that the activities of the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and related terrorist groups are fuelled via Turkish territory.

"I hope this is some technical error rather than attempts to show political correctness to the party, which refuses to effectively embark on the fight against terrorism and, what’s more, uses the slogan of fighting against terrorism to suppress the Kurdish organizations in Syria as well as on its own territory," he said. "We will continue to insist that (UN) resolutions are fully complied with. I am sure no one can have any excuses on this matter."

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