MOSCOW: A statement from the foreign ministry said Russia had “fully and strictly observed the sanctions regime” introduced in a bid to curb Kim Jong-un’s missile testing programme and nuclear ambitions.
Moscow spoke out after two separate, unidentified western European security sources alleged ship-to-ship transfers took place in October and November and represented a breach of sanctions.
The statement did not address whether the ships had transferred the fuel.
But it said resolutions by the UN security council imposed limits on North Korea’s refined oil imports rather than banning them altogether.
The security sources said the Russian-flagged tanker Vityaz was one vessel that had transferred fuel to North Korean vessels.
Modern oil tankers can carry almost 100 MILLION gallons – just a handful of such transfers would be enough to keep North Korea unafraid of UK sanctions for years.