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IS political wrap for heavy oil smuggling: Russian official

5The militant Islamic State (IS) group is a political wrap for hefty smuggling businesses including that of oil, says the spokesman for Russia Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin.

The high-level Russian official made the remarks in a column he wrote for the Izvestia newspaper, said a report published on the TASS news agency’s website.

“The terrorist organisations, which are outlawed in Russia — the Islamic State (IS) and Al Nusra — are only political wraps for the big businesses of smuggling oil, currency, arms, cultural heritage objects, donor organs and for slave trade,” TASS quoted Marvin as saying.

In his column, Marvin slammed “weak leaders” of the world for being “puppets.”

“Weak politicians, like Turkish or Ukrainian ‘leaders,’ are only puppets, directed by shadow criminal bosses,” he said.

The Kremlin said Friday that Western powers were not ready to form a coalition with Russia to fight IS in Syria, after talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and French leader Francois Hollande.

However, Putin and Hollande agreed to coordinate strikes and share intelligence in what was the most concrete sign of progress from the French leader’s diplomatic marathon that has also included talks with the leaders of the US, Germany, Britain and Italy.

Putin had urged global powers to band together in the fight against jihadists in September during an address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), just before Russia launched its own bombing campaign in Syria.

Separately, a United States (US)-led coalition that includes France had already been staging air strikes against IS targets in Syria for over a year.

The downing of a Russian warplane by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) member Turkey in Syria has also cast a shadow on the diplomatic efforts to step up the fight against the jihadists.

While Turkey said Friday it wanted to calm tensions with Russia and local media said Ankara “temporarily” suspended air strikes against IS targets in Syria, the Kremlin said Russia would press ahead with its bombing campaign in the war-torn country.

France wants the United States to support Russia’s military actions in Syria, but a conflict with Turkey would make it difficult for Washington to support Moscow. Turkey is a Nato member, like the US and France, and the agreement requires both to support Turkey against Russia.