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Russia Accused of Bypassing Oil Sanctions Against N. Korea

Russia Accused of Bypassing Oil Sanctions Against N. KoreaRussia Accused of Bypassing Oil Sanctions Against N. Korea

While most of the sanction-bypassing oil trade with North Korea is thought to be originating from China, oil sales from Russia to Kim Jong-un’s regime may be much larger than official figures suggest, as shell companies have been set up for illicit oil flows to Pyongyang, The Asan Institute for Policy Studies said in a recent report.

The report found that a substantial amount of North Korea’s oil imports come from Russia, even though a majority is believed to come from China, Oil Price reported.

According to the institute, there are indications that 622,878 tons of refined oil were transported to North Korea from Russia between 2015 and 2017, accounting for around one-third of North Korea’s total refined oil imports during the period.

Under the latest United Nations Security Council sanctions regarding oil sales to North Korea from December 2017, North Korea is allowed to import a maximum aggregate amount of 500,000 barrels of all refined oil products for 12 months beginning on January 1, 2018.

According to the report by the South Korea-based institute, more recently, “oil tankers under a number of different national flags were spotted engaging in ship-to-ship transfer of oil, in a clear bid to avoid sanctions enforcement”.

Russian tankers have been involved in several of these transfers, the report said. The analysis found that in the three years between 2015 and 2017, shell companies and one North Korean state enterprise bought 622,878 tons of Russian oil worth $238 million.

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