2015-07-09 12:10:00

Around 2,000 current, former Russian citizens fight for Islamic State Lavrov (updated)

Ufa, July 9, Interfax - About 2,000 Russian natives are currently part of Islamic State forces.

"Our representatives, including Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev, and one of my deputies Oleg Syromolotov gave in their latest interviews the number of around 2,000 people but, according to our assessments, this includes several hundred former and current Russian citizens, who left for permanent residence in Europe," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a briefing in Ufa where the summit of BRICS and SCO is on.

He also said that BRICS and SCO member countries unanimously maintain that the Islamic State is "absolute evil", and "this absolute evil should be fought adamantly, without applying double standards and without trying to use for timeserving purposes any abnormal situations in which some may think that terrorists [operating] in a particular country can be temporary associates or be used to depose undesirable regimes."

Lavrov said that Russia was trying to track terrorist fighters from amongst its citizens who are fighting for Islamic State.