Russia Accuses South Korea and West of ‘Sanctions War’

SEOUL - Following South Korea's implication that Russia may have breached U.N. sanctions with a luxury car gift to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Russia has accused South Korea and Western countries of engaging in a "sanctions war" against Moscow. Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russia's foreign ministry, emphasized that any disputes over compliance with U.N. sanctions should be addressed directly to the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Committee rather than being publicly criticized.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Zakharova's remarks, reposted by the Russian Embassy in Seoul on social media, were in response to South Korea's call for Russia to adhere to U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang after reports surfaced about the gift, confirmed to be a Russian-made Aurus Senat. This act could potentially contravene the U.N. sanctions that prohibit the supply and transfer of luxury goods to North Korea.

The spokeswoman criticized the "illegal" sanctions imposed by Seoul and the Western countries against Russia, questioning the legality and impact of these sanctions on global well-being. She also highlighted the detrimental effects of such sanctions on people worldwide, including restricted access to food, medicine, and vaccines.

This dispute arises amid deepening ties between Russia and North Korea, with suspicions of Pyongyang supplying weapons to Moscow for the Ukraine conflict in exchange for potential weapons technology transfers. South Korea has actively participated in international sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, aligning with U.S.-led efforts to pressure Moscow.

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