Whereas US President Donald Trump tweeted two days ago that China had circumvented the UN Security Council resolution blocking the provision of energy to North Korea by allowing tankers to provide oil to them via a sea transfer, this time it would appear also Russia is guilty of similar practices.
According to reports this morning, two Western European security officials claim to have proof of at least three of such transfers by Russian ships in the past months. Though there is no proof that these sales went on with knowledge of the Kremlin, they did offer a lifeline to the North Korean regime which the US administration is eagerly trying to close by imposing the UN embargo.
The anonymous sources, speaking to news outlet Reuters, said: “Russian vessels have made ship-to-ship transfers of petrochemicals to North Korean vessels on several occasions this year in breach of sanctions.”
“There is no evidence that this is backed by the Russian state but these Russian vessels are giving a lifeline to the North Koreans.”
“The vessels are smuggling Russian fuel from Russian Far Eastern ports to North Korea.”
Furthermore, according to those security sources the Russian-flagged tanker Vityaz, owned by Vladivostok-based Alisa Ltd, was one of the ships responsible for transferring fuel to the North Korean vessels.
Mr. Yaroslav Guk, the deputy director of the Russian company states the vessel had no contacts with North Korean vessels: “Absolutely no, this is very dangerous. It would be complete madness.”
In response to these reports, the US will propose that the United Nations Security Council blacklist 10 ships for transporting banned items from North Korea.
Those ships would be accused of “conducting illegal ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels or illegally transporting North Korean coal to other countries for exports.”
<a href="http://thegoldwater.com/news/14865-Update-South-Korea-Seizes-Chinese-Ship-Accused-Of-North-Korean-Oil-Transfer"> One of them, the Lighthouse Winmore, was already seized by South Korea</a>.