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Feb. 05 2015 - 13:02

Russia Pushes for UN Resolution Targeting Islamic State

A man reads an extra edition of a newspapers, which reported that Islamic State militants said they had beheaded Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, in Tokyo's Ginza district.

A man reads an extra edition of a newspapers, which reported that Islamic State militants said they had beheaded Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, in Tokyo's Ginza district.

Russia is leading a UN Security Council initiative to ratchet up pressure on countries to cut off the cash flow to Islamic State militants, Russia and council diplomats said Wednesday.

The announcement comes after the 15-nation Security Council condemned Islamic State's burning alive of a captive Jordanian pilot.

Moscow is drafting a legally binding resolution on the subject.

"We are preparing [the resolution] and we hope it'll be adopted by the UN Security Council in the coming days," a spokesman for Russia's United Nations mission said.

Russia circulated a draft to the council's other permanent members — the United States, Britain, France and China — and is expected to distribute it to the full council soon, Western diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity. They noted that Moscow rarely drafts council resolutions.

The diplomats said Russia's concerns about Islamic State are acute given the number of Chechens that have joined the group.

Diplomats said the group's brutal killings of the Jordanian, Japanese and other hostages have strengthened the resolve of UN member states to act. They said one benefit of such a resolution is that it will highlight how unified the vast majority of countries are against Islamic State.

The resolution will focus on the three main sources of revenue for Islamic State: oil, the sale of antiquities and ransom from kidnappings.

The resolution will demand that countries not purchase oil from Islamic State, stop paying ransoms and not buy antiquities looted by the group.

"We know that the Syrian regime has bought oil, some of the Turkish have bought oil," a senior Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

He added that despite a council resolution banning the ransom payments, some countries continue to pay money to secure the release of hostages.

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