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U.S., Russia Seek To Tighten Islamic State Financing Curbs

The United States and Russia are drafting separate United Nations resolutions to tighten restrictions on financing sources for the Islamic State group, envoys said December 1.

The proposed new Security Council measures would build on a resolution adopted in February that aimed to cut off millions of dollars in earnings from IS smuggling of oil and antiquities.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told reporters that a U.S. draft resolution "will consolidate and streamline the council's recent efforts on ISIL financing" and introduce "new steps to make the sanctions more effective."

The measure could be adopted around December 17 during the U.S. presidency of the Security Council this month.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin separately told reporters that he is drafting a measure to "tighten up" the curbs on IS financing.

Power said the United States is looking at the Russian proposals to "see how these efforts come together," but it was unclear if there would be agreement on a single draft.

There is a "shared objective," Power said, adding that "hope springs eternal."

The resolution adopted in February calls for sanctions against individuals and entities that trade in oil with IS, and urges all countries to take "appropriate steps" to prevent the trade in antiquities and other cultural property seized by IS in Iraq and Syria.

It also reaffirms that it is illegal to pay ransom to individuals and groups such as the Islamic State that are sanctioned by the UN.

With reporting by AP and AFP
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