Russia blocks UN report on North Korea breaching oil sanctions

Russia blocks UN report on North Korea breaching oil sanctions

Russia is blocking the release of a UN report that has found North Korea to be violating the organisation’s sanctions on oil product imports, because Moscow disagrees “on certain elements of the report,” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told Reuters following a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting.

In August, news organisations including The Associated Press and Reuters, reported on a confidential report that said North Korea “has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018.”

Britain’s UN Ambassador and current Security Council president, Karen Pierce, said that informal discussions would take place to establish Russia’s objections in order to push forward the release of the report.

Pierce said: “It’s an interesting question as to whether you should be objecting to an independent report. But, as I say, the council hopes we can resolve this.”

It is thought that much of the trading with North Korea, in spite of the sanctions, is originating from China. However, sales from Russia to Pyongyang could be much larger than thought, according to The Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

Russia-based shipping companies Primorye Maritime Logistics and Gudzon Shipping were struck with US Treasury sanctions last week after they were involved in ship to ship transfers of refined petroleum products with North Korean vessels – an act that is strictly prohibited by the UNSC.

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