WASHINGTON, April 7. /TASS/. Russia attaches paramount importance to enhanced interaction with the states of the Western Hemisphere in countering terrorist financing, Deputy Director of the Department on New Challenges and Threats of Russia’s Foreign Ministry Dmitry Feoktistov said on Thursday.
Speaking at the 17th regular session of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States in Washington, he noted that the Russian Federal Service on Financial Monitoring, which is the national Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), has signed 99 bilateral agreements with international partners.
Among them are CICTE members, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and the United States. "Consultations are continuing with a number of other partners," he said in a statement.
Last year, Rosfinmonitoring carried out over 8,000 investigations into countering the financing of terrorism, he said. It regularly updates the List of organizations and individuals known to be involved in terrorist and extremist activities. Its national section includes 84 organizations and 7,071 individuals. International section currently comprises 94 organizations and 415 individuals.
During the last two years Russia has identified about 1,400 persons associated with the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia), he said. Some 1,500 bank accounts of those individuals with a total amount of about $120,000 have been frozen. The Russian FIU has handed over to the law enforcement agencies data on financing channels of 382 foreign terrorist fighters who joined the IS and 82 members of IS affiliates operating in Russia.
As a result of Russia’s air campaign in Syria, the proceeds of the IS group "from trade in hydrocarbons have decreased by half last year." Russia also proposes imposing a comprehensive trade and economic embargo against the IS controlled territories.
"There is no alternative to uniting efforts in combating international terrorism and its financing," the diplomat stressed. "We call on our partners to pursue this work without politization and double standards, to aim at establishing a broad counterterrorism coalition," he said, recalling that Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed this in his address to the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in 2015. "We hope that CICTE members will contribute to that common effort, since the security of our states and peoples depends directly on its success," Feoktistov said.