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Russia puts ‘hold’ on U.S. requests over North Korea oil sanctions bre

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Diplomats say Russia has asked for additional time to investigate U.S. allegations that North Korea is smuggling refined petroleum products into the country beyond the quota of 500,000 barrels per year allowed under U.N. sanctions, reported The Japan Times.

Last week, the U.S. asked the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea to send a letter to U.N. member states and the general public saying that North Korea breached the quota. It also asked the committee to prevent ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products.

The 14 other council members had until noon EDT to object, and two diplomats said Russia put “a hold” on the U.S. requests. One diplomat said Russia asked for six more months, and China supported the “hold.”

The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because council communications are private.

U.S. documents sent to the sanctions committee and obtained by The Associated Press cite 89 instances between Jan. 1 and May 30 in which North Korean tankers likely delivered refined products “illicitly procured” via ship-to-ship transfers.

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Russia and China have turned down a US request at a committee of the UN Security Council to ban supplies of oil products to the DPRK in the absence of Washington’s proofs and methodology, a UN diplomatic sources told TASS (Russia).

"The American side submitted a proposal on banning the supplies of oil products to the DPRK to Committee No. 1718 on July 12," the interlocutor said. "Russia and China asked for more time to scrutinize the document and requested ample proof that the quota for the supplies had been used up."

On July 12, the US accused the DPRK of encroachments on the UN Security Council’s sanctions restricting the exports of oil products to that country. Washington also made claims about transshipment of oil products on high seas.

According to a Reuters report, the US Administration also made a demand to Moscow and Beijing that they stop any supplies of oil products to the DPRK immediately.

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