USA hits Russian individuals and companies with sanctions over North Korean ties

US sanctions 6 Russia-flagged vessels 4 companies & 2 individuals – Treasury

US sanctions 6 Russia-flagged vessels 4 companies & 2 individuals – Treasury

US officials also slapped sanctions on two Russian individuals for helping Divetechnoservices circumvent USA sanctions.

The penalties have in particular been imposed over the Russian companies' alleged involvement in the banned ship-to-ship transfer of refined petroleum products to North Korea-flagged vessels.

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Explaining that the sanctions will remain in place until Pyongyang achieves final, fully verifiable denuclearization, .

The Treasury statement said Russian ship Patriot conducted two ship-to-ship transfers of oil in early 2018 - 1,500 tons to the North Korea-flagged Chong Rim 2 and 2,000 tons to the North Korea-flagged Chon Ma San.

The Treasury also explained that the buyer was North Korea's Taesong Bank, . which has already been slapped with sanctions by Washington for engaging in illicit economic activities for the regime.

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The move reinforced the administration's "maximum pressure" campaign to force North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

The targets of the fresh sanctions are now banned from the US financial system and their USA based assets are blocked.

Tuesday's announcement came just days after Washington imposed sanctions on a Russian port service agency as well as Chinese companies for aiding North Korean ships and selling alcohol and tobacco to Pyongyang in breach of USA sanctions.

Washington's policy on relations with Russia is apparently aimed at disrupting any normal dialogue, as it constantly invents new "false pretexts" for introducing more sanctions, the Russian deputy foreign minister has said.

"The entities designated today have directly contributed to improving Russia's cyber and underwater capabilities through their work with the FSB and therefore jeopardise the safety and security of the United States and our allies".

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