The American envoy to the UN condemned Russia on Monday for systematically violating sanctions placed on North Korea.
At a Security Council meeting at the behest of the United States, Nikki Haley pointed out that Russia had been in support of the sanctions, which are part of an effort to denuclearize the region. The Security Council had approved three sanctions packages against North Korea.
"Why, after voting for sanctions eleven different times, is Russia now backing away from them? We know the answer. It is because Russia has been cheating. And now they’ve been caught," Haley said.
Haley said North Korea is able to elude sanctions by using ship-to-ship transfers of materials such as oil. They are then able to transfer oil and other resources such as coal, that they can take back home.
The U.S. ambassador said a Russian vessel was caught on film engaging in this ship-to-ship transfer with a North Korean ship in April.
The U.S. reported at least 148 instances of oil tankers engaging trade and that North Korea obtained 800,000 barrels of refined petroleum in 2018.
"Russia has engaged in a concerted campaign in the Security Council to cover up violations of sanctions, whether they’re committed by Russia or citizens of other states."
A panel of experts drafted an original report citing the sanctions violations, but has yet to be published.
"Russian corruption is like a virus. It is impeding our ability to achieve complete denuclearization in North Korea. Now it has spread to the sanctions reporting process. If we’re not careful, the sickness will make its way to the integrity and effectiveness of the Security Council itself," Haley said.