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US sanctions Russian entities, persons over North Korea-linked weapons transfers

Fri, 17 May 2024   |  Reading Time: 3 minutes

Washington [US], May 17 (ANI): The United States has imposed sanctions on five Russian individuals and entities for facilitating the trade of ballistic missiles and other weapon transfers between North Korea and Russia for the latter’s use against Ukraine.
The US Treasury Department announced the sanctions on Thursday.
“The United States will continue to take action to hold accountable those who seek to facilitate the shipment of weapons and other material to enable Russia’s war,” Under Secretary of the US Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.
According to the statement released by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), at a time when the United States and its allies are increasingly concerned about Russia’s deepening ties with North Korea, as well as China.
Russia and North Korea have boosted their military cooperation over the past year, the department said, with Pyongyang providing ballistic missiles and munitions for Russian forces to attack Ukraine. It also said North Korea is seeking military assistance from Russia in return.
The department identified the individuals as Rafael Anatolyevich Gazaryan and Aleksey Budnev, and the three entities as Trans Kapital Limited Liability Company, Rafort Limited Liability Company and Tekhnologiya.
US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller in a statement said that the sanctions were imposed on the five Russia-based individuals and entities as they violated the UN arms embargo on North Korea.
The sanctions, he said, builds on several sanctions designations over the past year targeting the Russia-North Korea military relationship and highlights US opposition to continued arms transfers and the deepening of defence cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang.
America also claimed that Russia has relied upon North Korea to wage its war on Ukraine and said that the relationship between the two countries poses a wide-ranging threat to global security and the international non-proliferation regime.
The United States said it will continue to take all necessary steps to counter the “destabilizing” Russia-North Korea partnership while calling on other countries to join Washington’s efforts.
The development came amid the State visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Beijing to mark the 75th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties where in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping both leaders agreed to reinforce their countries’ “comprehensive strategic partnership” in their meeting in Beijing marking the 75th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in an interview with state media TASS said that Moscow may lower the level of diplomatic relations with Washington if certain scenarios unfold and “if the West chooses the path of escalation.”
After Putin’s meeting with Xi, both leaders released a joint statement vowing to deepen the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between the two countries. China and Russia had declared a “no limits” partnership in February 2022 ahead of the start of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
In an interview Wednesday with China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, Putin said the “unprecedented level of strategic partnership” between Russia and China was the reason for making China as the first stop of his fifth term.
At a press briefing on Thursday, US State Department’s Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that China cannot have stronger ties with Europe and other countries while supporting Russia in its ongoing war against Ukraine.
“The People’s Republic of China can’t have its cake and eat it too. You cannot have it both ways. You want to have good, further stronger, deeper relationships with Europe and other countries. While simultaneously continuing to fuel the biggest threat to European security in a long time.”
“Fuelling Russia’s defence base as the PRC has not only threatened Ukrainian security, it threatens European security. And Beijing can’t achieve better relations with Europe will also continuing to support something like this,” he said.
Putin also commended China’s 12 point peace plan to resolve Russia’s ongoing military conflict with Ukraine stating that it comprehended the conflict’s ‘root causes’ and its ‘global geopolitical significance’.
Asked about the statement during a press briefing, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said, “Look, we don’t see anything new here.”
“If China purports to support peace in Europe, it cannot continue to fuel the biggest threat of the European security. And that’s not just coming from us. It’s coming from NATO, the EU, the G7 partners – they put out statement about this as well,” the White House spokesperson said. (ANI)



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