Support The Moscow Times!

U.S. Accuses Russia of Covering Up Breaches of N.Korea Sanctions

Nikki Haley (Gage Skidmore / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Moscow on Thursday of seeking to cover up breaches of UN sanctions on North Korea by Russians after it pushed for changes to an independent report on sanctions violations.

The UN Security Council will meet on Monday over the implementation of sanctions on North Korea at the request of Washington, the U.S. mission to the United Nations said.

The report, submitted to the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee last month, said Pyongyang had not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and was violating UN sanctions on exports.

Diplomats said Russia pressured the independent sanctions monitors to amend the report. The Security Council has to agree by consensus on whether to publish the report and the United States objected to releasing the amended document.

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

The Russian mission to the United Nations and the chair of the independent panel of UN sanctions monitors did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The amended report removed some references to Russians accused of breaching sanctions on North Korea, said one diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Russia and China have suggested the Security Council discuss easing sanctions after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in June and Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization.

The United States and other council members have said there must be strict enforcement of sanctions until Pyongyang acts.

Washington on Thursday imposed sanctions on a China-based tech firm, its North Korean chief executive and a Russian subsidiary, accusing them of moving illicit funding to North Korea in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.