Russia Ignores UN Sanctions: Massive Petroleum Shipments to North Korea

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.03 - 2024 9:14 AM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Russia delivered more than 165,000 barrels of refined petroleum to North Korea in March alone.

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White House officials announced that Russia has exceeded North Korea's petroleum import limits set by the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), delivering over 165,000 barrels of refined petroleum to Pyongyang in March.

This breach has prompted plans for new sanctions.

John Kirby, the National Security Communications Advisor, pointed out the ease with which Russia can continue these shipments, given the proximity of their commercial ports to those of North Korea.

"In March alone, Russia shipped more than 165,000 barrels of refined petroleum to the North," Kirby stated, as reported by Yonhap News.

Under UNSC rules, North Korea is allowed to import only up to 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products annually.

Sanctions and International Response

The United States and allies like South Korea and Japan are planning new sanctions against groups that help with the trade of weapons and petroleum between Russia and North Korea.

These measures aim to stop this trade, which breaks U.N. rules, and keep pressure on both countries to follow international standards.

U.N. Panel Dissolution

The situation is further complicated by the recent expiration of the mandate for the U.N. expert panel that monitors compliance with sanctions against North Korea.

The panel's dissolution, a direct result of a Russian veto against its renewal, removes a crucial mechanism for tracking and reporting violations.

Kirby described Russia's veto as a "calculated" move, aimed at obscuring its activities that violate UNSC resolutions.

In response to the disbanding of the U.N. panel, 50 countries have issued a joint statement calling for continued access to "objective" and "independent" analysis concerning the enforcement of sanctions against North Korea.

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