One would hope that, after President Donald Trump declined to impose sanctions against a host of Russians with purported ties to the government earlier this week, he would at least receive a temporary reprieve from any provocative behavior.
Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the reality. As Reuters reports, Russia’s ambassador to North Korea said Wednesday it was better not to cut deliveries of oil and oil products to North Korea, according to the RIA News Agency. Continuing oil shipments to North Korea would of course violate international sanctions passed by the UN Security Council – sanctions that Russia agreed to at the time.
In recent months, US spy satellites have caught ships with ties to Russia and China delivering badly needed oil to North Korea via ship-to-ship trade.
According to RIA, the ambassador said cutting oil deliveries to the North would be interpreted by Pyongyang as a declaration of war and lead to serious problems, including of a humanitarian nature.
In recent months, Russia has kept up its low-pressure policy of confrontations with US military planes in international airspace. Yesterday, we published a video of Russia’s latest attempt to recreate a scene from the movie “Top Gun”: The video showed a Russian Su-27 fighter jet reportedly performed an “unsafe intercept of a US Navy P-3 Orion surveillance plane” while it was flying in international airspace next to Russia, over the Black Sea Monday. The Su-27 reportedly came within five feet of the US plane.
While most observers labeled the Treasury’s “Oligarch’s List” as little more than a rehashing of a Forbes’ list of wealthy Russians, Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced its release as a “hostile” act.
While the remarks haven’t made much of a splash outside the Russian media, we imagine this suggestion will warrant some kind of a response from the US, or the UN.
Despite this, Reuters reported Wednesday that Russia will send home all migrant workers from North Korea by the end of 2019 in compliance with the UN sanctions.