Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Mr.Gennady Kuzmin at the Arria formula meeting of the Security Council on
First of all let me express my gratitude for organizing a meeting on such an urgent issue as countering the financing of terrorism. We have listened to the statements made by the speakers with immense interest. Unique expert assessments of FATF and SC Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate as well as know-how of state bodies and private sector provide a better understanding of why ISIS, Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups maintain their capacity.
I would like to speak about it in more detail. It is well-known that since September 2015 Russia has been undertaking extensive effort to destroy the strongholds of terrorist formations in Syria. Naturally one of the key tasks is to cut off their financial channels. “Pseudo-Caliphate” that stretched through the territories of Syria and Iraq has collapsed and its ruins show traces of terrorists’ contacts with external sponsors, benefactors and “business partners”.
Here is an example: to construct their fortifications militants used cement manufactured by a world-famous company that had once had an intact reputation. The majority of you must have heard about various public and private entities that engaged in illegal oil trade with ISIS or in weapon deliveries to the terrorists in the Middle East.
In free access there is information on the schedule of deliveries of “non-lethal products” to Syrian armed groups that were carried out by one European state in the course of two years, but I believe it is about more than just two years; to say nothing about organizations based in the same country that delivered pseudo-humanitarian products to terrorists for years on end.
Commitment to the relevant UN SC resolutions and FATF standards should be shown in deeds, not in words. Otherwise discussions like this would make no sense.
We would like to share a few observations on the questions that have been set for the members of this meeting. As for the new methods of financing terrorism, there are some trends that get more prominent against the common background: ISIS increasingly often uses e-payments and cryptocurrencies to collect “donations”. Reportedly ISIS invests in foreign companies that primarily have to do with tourism and agriculture. We also pay attention to the growing potential of Al-Qaida whose financial situation is improving day by day.
We would like to avail of this opportunity to call for all the states to be more active in supporting FATF systemic efforts to discover new sources of ISIS financing. Since 2016 when Russia initiated the corresponding research we have been regularly sharing with FATF the information we have.
We fully share the view that inter-institutional coordination in the area of countering money laundering and financing of terrorism at national level should be strengthened. The explanatory note dwells on it in more detail.
In 2018 the President of Russia adopted a new Conception of the development of national system in this area, its key link being Interinstitutional Commission on countering the financing of terrorism that is comprised of representatives of all the relevant bodies. Should there be significant reason to suspect an organization or an individual of being involved in terrorism the Commission is entitled to freeze their assets.
In 2017 Russia initiated a project on mutual freezing of terrorist assets at the area of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism. Its implementation also has a positive impact on the compliance level of national anti-money laundering systems with FATF standards.
Besides we have given impetus to developing a model of financial profile of a foreign terrorist fighter. This tool provides extra opportunities for financial institutions, law-enforcement authorities and financial intelligence services in Eurasia to discover individuals involved in terrorist activities.
We believe that international cooperation in countering the financing of terrorism should aim at practical results. We will continue to assist our international partners, share information and best practices in combating the financing of terrorism via established channels.