UNITED NATIONS, September 21. /TASS/. The world community should respect sovereignty of countries attacked by the Islamic State terrorist group, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Thursday at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council that passed a resolution on support to a probe onto Islamic State crimes in Iraq.
"The Islamic State threat is to be exterminated wherever terrorists are acting and we must do it in a consolidated front. The resolution that has been passed notes the global character of the threat coming from Islamic States and consolidation of Security Council members in countering it," he said, adding that Islamic State can be defeated "only on the solid basis of international law, not ignoring the sovereignty of states that were attacked by terrorists, but, on the contrary, cooperating with such states."
"These are the principles that underlie the operation of the Russian aerospace forces in Syria, which is a key prerequisite of its efficiency," Gatilov noted.
"In the current situation, apart from the military pressure on the ISIL [the former name of the IS - TASS], it is important to use legal mechanisms based on universally recognized standards," Gatilov said at a meeting of the UN Security Council, during which a resolution on investigating into the Islamic State’s crimes in Iraq was passed. "The UN Security Council’s resolution is aimed at preventing terrorists from escaping justice. Punishment for all crimes, particularly terror-related ones, should be inevitable and proportionate to the gravity of the crime," the senior Russian diplomat pointed out.
"The governments of the countries affected by atrocities should play the key role in bringing terrorists to justice," Gatilov went on to say. "We believe that the resolution passed today does not undermine this principle and does not create any new precedent," he noted. "We view this document from the standpoint of criminal legislation and not international humanitarian law," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.
"We welcome the Iraqi government’s intention to strengthen the national justice system," Gatilov stated. "We hope that the group established by the UN Security Council will contribute to this process, acting impartially, transparently and in full compliance with international law, including the UN Charter," he added.
"Once again, we call on the secretary general and the member nations to stop supporting the so-called mechanism for collecting evidence in Syria that was set up in violation of the United Nations charter," he said.
Those who initiated "the General Assembly’s illegitimate resolution" on this structure in Syria "did not even consider it necessary to speak with Damascus," he stressed.
The so-called International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) for Syria was set up by a General Assembly resolution in December 2016 to collect evidence against those responsible for the most serious crimes committed in Syria since March 2011.