Published: Wed, September 19, 2018

US Accuses Russia of Systematic Violations of North Korea Sanctions

US Accuses Russia of Systematic Violations of North Korea Sanctions

A report compiled by an independent panel reviewing whether United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang had been implemented was submitted to the Security Council's sanctions committee in August.

Washington's ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, cited "evidence of consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations".

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, insisted Moscow is not trying to block the release of the U.N. report - which he said was written by "hostages to the vision of Washington" - and accused the USA of pushing too hard against North Korea. It said some products allegedly were off-loaded from Russian ships, which were identified in the report.

It has unanimously imposed increasingly tough sanctions on Pyongyang that have cut off all North Korean exports, 90 percent of its trade and disbanded its pool of workers sent overseas to earn hard currency.

China, which is North Korea's closest ally and is responsible for 90 percent of its trade, believes the Security Council should take action to reverse sanctions "at the appropriate time" in light of Pyongyang's progress to denuclearization.

The report "tells us that Pyongyang continues its nuclear programs and ballistic missile in violation of United Nations resolutions" and "we must be prepared to step up sanctions if necessary", he estimated.

Haley said that while "difficult, sensitive talks" between the United States and North Korea are ongoing, it was the wrong time to start easing sanctions on Pyongyang.

The sanctions are seen as being partly responsible for a thaw in relations between North and South Korea, and a meeting in June between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The U.S. has led efforts at the apply severe sanctions on North Korea, aimed at forcing the regime to give up its nuclear arms program.

The United States has said sanctions won't be lifted until that goal is met.

All these activities are 'generating significant revenues for the regime and they must be stopped, ' he said.

But during a heated back and forth, Moscow countered earlier remarks from Haley who claimed Russian Federation was pressuring the UN Panel of Experts (PoE) tasked with monitoring DPRK sanctions enforcement into redacting their mid-year report.

The United States blocked release of the report on implementation of sanctions in protest at the changes in the latest version. "Now for China and Russian Federation to block it, what are they telling us?" It recently blacklisted Russian entities and ramped up its military efforts to monitor illegal ship-to-ship transfers in a "name and shame" crackdown on sanctions violations.

She accused Russian Federation of not just looking the other way while its citizens and companies engage in activities banned by United Nations sanctions but of trying to cover up sanctions violations "whether they're committed by Russian Federation or citizens of other states".

Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya rejected the claims that Moscow had pressured the PoE, saying it had only asked for the report to accurately reflect Russia's position on the accusations.

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