Moscow ‘preparing inevitable response’ as US hits Russians with new sanctions over N. Korea

Russia has fired back at the latest round of Washington sanctions targeting Moscow’s interests as US blacklisted four individuals and one Russian company for their alleged dealings with North Korea.

US Treasury on Tuesday announced sanctions on 16 Russian and Chinese nationals and some companies for their alleged deals with North Korea. Claims were made that these sanctions are in accordance with the internationally agreed counter measures against North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. These companies were accused of dealing with blacklisted individuals who were allegedly helping to develop the North Korean energy sector. They were alleged to help it place workers abroad and transfer funds from abroad. Their US assets are being frozen as a result and Americans are restrained from doing business with them.

Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary said in a statement: “It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia, and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region”. He further added “We are taking actions consistent with UN sanctions to show that there are consequences for defying sanctions and providing support to North Korea, and to deter this activity in the future.”

Sergey Ryabkov Russian Deputy Foreign Minister reacting to the sanctions issued an official statement expressing serious disappointment and warned US that Russia is working on a counter response.

Ryabkov said “Against such a depressing backdrop, the lip service from American representatives about the desire to stabilize bilateral relations is extremely unconvincing”. “We have always and will always support resolving our existing differences through dialogue. In recent years, Washington in theory should have learned that for us the language of sanctions is unacceptable, and the solutions to real problems are only hindered by such actions. So far, however, there doesn’t seem to be an understanding of such obvious truths.

 

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