The Russian Federation began to supply oil to the DPRK in defiance of UN sanctions

The Russian Federation began to supply oil to the DPRK in defiance of UN sanctions


Russia began directly supplying oil to North Korea despite UN sanctions against Pyongyang, introduced in 2017 in response to nuclear weapons tests. The Financial Times writes about it.

According to the publication, oil deliveries began on March 7 – these are the first documented deliveries since the introduction of UN sanctions. According to satellite images, at least five North Korean oil tankers left the Russian port of Vostochny in the Far East in March. Then the two ships went to the North Korean port of Chongjin, where, apparently, they unloaded, writes the Financial Times.

According to Joseph Byrne, a researcher at the Royal Joint Institute for Defense Studies (RUSI), some of these vessels are on the UN list, which means they cannot even enter foreign ports.

“These oil shipments represent a full-scale attack on the sanctions regime, which is now on the verge of collapse,” said Hugh Griffiths, ex-coordinator of the UN group that monitors compliance with sanctions against North Korea.

As noted by the Financial Times, in August of last year, North Korea began supplying Russia with ammunition that was used by Moscow in the war with Ukraine. According to RUSI, the port of Vostochny was also used as a transshipment point for Russian ships, which were allegedly involved in the supply of weapons.

“What we see now is a clear arms-for-oil barter agreement that openly violates the sanctions that Vladimir Putin personally signed,” Hugh Griffiths said.

According to the newspaper, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov refused to comment.

  • In February, The New York Times reported that in exchange for ammunition, Russia allowed the DPRK to gain access to the global financial system, and also unblocked some North Korean assets under UN sanctions. In addition, sources say that Moscow allowed Pyongyang to open a bank account on the territory of partially recognized South Ossetia. Georgia considers this territory occupied by Russia.
  • In October 2023, White House National Security Adviser John Kirby said that North Korea had provided Russia with a batch of weapons. The White House has published a photo that purports to show a shipment of ammunition from a warehouse in North Korea. The weapons were loaded onto a ship under the Russian flag and sent to a warehouse on the southwestern border of Russia.
  • Seven member countries of the UN Security Council accused Russia of violating the embargo on military-technical cooperation with Pyongyang.


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