Antalya - Moscow , Nov 17 () - Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed some 40 countries, including those among the Group of 20 nations, for financing Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, Russia Today reported Nov. 16.
“I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State [ISIL] units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries, and there are some of the G-20 members among them,” Putin told the journalists during a briefing on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Turkey’s Mediterranean city of Antalya.
“I’ve shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products,” the Russian leader was quoted as saying.
“The motorcade of refueling vehicles stretched for dozens of kilometers, so that from a height of 4,000 to 5,000 meters they stretch beyond the horizon,” Putin said, comparing the convoy to gas and oil pipeline systems.
“I can confirm that we have established contacts with... Syrian opposition on the battlefield which asked us to conduct air strikes,” Putin also said.
The Russian leader’s harsh criticism came one day after his brief meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the summit.
Putin and Obama talked “extensively” about Syria and Ukraine, Russian news agencies cited top Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov as saying.
Ushakov said Syria dominated the informal talks.
The two leaders agreed during the 35 minute discussion on the need for a Syria-led political transition, including U.N.-mediated talks, a White House official said.
Separately, Putin met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to discuss a resolution to the Syria crisis and bilateral relations on Nov. 16, the Kremlin said in a statement.