Russia accused of aiding North Korea with 100 MILLION gallon oil transfers at sea

Sunday, December 31, 2017
By Paul Martin

RUSSIA has denied breaking UN sanctions against North Korea by transferring fuel to the regime’s tankers at sea.

Sun, Dec 31, 2017

A statement from the foreign ministry said Russia had “fully and strictly observed the sanctions regime” introduced in a bid to curb Kim Jong-un’s missile testing programme and nuclear ambitions.

Moscow spoke out after two separate, unidentified western European security sources alleged ship-to-ship transfers took place in October and November and represented a breach of sanctions.

The statement did not address whether the ships had transferred the fuel.

But it said resolutions by the UN security council imposed limits on North Korea’s refined oil imports rather than banning them altogether.

The security sources said the Russian-flagged tanker Vityaz was one vessel that had transferred fuel to North Korean vessels.

Modern oil tankers can carry almost 100 MILLION gallons – just a handful of such transfers would be enough to keep North Korea unafraid of UK sanctions for years.

Yaroslav Guk, deputy director of Vladivostok-based tanker owner Alisa Ltd, denied the vessel had had contact with North Korean vessels.

He said: “Absolutely no, this is very dangerous. It would be complete madness.”

Ship-to-ship trade with North Korean ships was banned by the UN Security Council in September in response to Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test earlier the same month.

The measure was meant to close a loophole used by Pyongyang to avoid trade restrictions imposed by the international community.

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