U.S. Accuses Russia of Covering Up Violations of North Korea Sanctions

With the United States now holding the presidency of the Security Council, Nikki Haley said the aim is to put further pressure on Tehran over its alleged violations of council resolutions
AFP/DOMINICK REUTER

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russia on Thursday of covering up violations of international sanctions prohibiting countries from doing business with North Korea.

Haley’s claim came after Russia sought changes to an independent report describing how Russian entities had aided the communist regime in avoiding crippling sanctions on its economy. Any permanent member of the U.N. Security Council can block the report and, as such, Russia chose to do so.

“Russia can’t be allowed to edit and obstruct independent U.N. reports on North Korea sanctions just because they don’t like what they say. Period,” Haley said in a statement. “The full implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions remains mandatory for all member states – including Russia.”

“We’re disappointed in the panel for caving to Russian pressure and making changes to what should be an independent report,” she continued. “This is a dangerous precedent and a stain on the important work of the panel.”

It is not the first time that the U.S. has accused Russia of violating U.N. sanctions regarding North Korea. In June, Haley filed a report detailing how the North Korean regime is importing more oil Russia than allowed under the 2017 sanctions agreement, as well as issuing permits for North Korean citizens to work in Russia.

“Credible reports of Russia violating UN Security Council resolutions on North Korean laborers working abroad are deeply troubling,” she said at the time. “These reports are especially concerning as they come just one month after Russia refused to acknowledge North Korea’s violations of the UN oil cap and blocked a United States request to enforce sanctions and put a stop to it.”

If other members of the Security Council had accepted this assessment, North Korea would have been placed under an automatic oil embargo. However, Russia and China again blocked such a measure. The U.S. has accused both countries of repeatedly violating sanctions to help the North Korea’s regime.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2371 bans the export of North Korean minerals such as coal while also placing restrictions on the amount of oil member states can sell the Kim regime.

According to a report submitted by the U.N.’s sanction committee in July, North Korean shipments worth an estimated $325,000 arrived in the Russian port of Kholmsk last December.

Numerous reports have detailed how China continues to increase trade with their communist ally through an increase in coal shipments, the revival of construction projects, and allowing growing numbers of Chinese tourists to visit the secretive state.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at bkew@breitbart.com.

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