Russia calls S. Korea’s new sanctions on it ‘unfriendly,’ vows response

Posted on : 2024-04-04 17:31 KST Modified on : 2024-04-04 17:31 KST
A spokesperson for Moscow’s Foreign Ministry said that the recent independent sanctions by Seoul would have a “negative impact” on bilateral relations
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica at the Kremlin on April 2, 2024. (AP/Yonhap)
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica at the Kremlin on April 2, 2024. (AP/Yonhap)

In response to independent sanctions adopted for the first time by the South Korean government, the Russian government said the “unfriendly” move would have a “negative impact on relations with Russia.”

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the South Korean government had adopted an “unfriendly” measure with its unilateral sanctioning of Russian citizens, vessels and organizations.

She also called the move “deeply regrettable,” according to the news agency TASS.

Suggesting that the measures would have a “negative impact on relations with Russia,” Zakharova warned of corresponding actions from Moscow.

On Tuesday, the South Korean government announced independent sanctions against two Russian organizations and two individuals suspected of involvement in the dispatching of North Korean workers and IT and other fields to Russia, along with two Russian ships suspected of involvement in the transportation of military items between North Korea and Russia.

Under these sanctions, the captains of the designated vessels would require permission from the supervising agency to visit South Korean ports, and prior permission from the governor of the Financial Services Commission or Bank of Korea, respectively, would be needed to engage in financial or foreign exchange transactions with designated individuals or institutions.

This marks the first time South Korea has pursued its own sanctions against Russian vessels, organizations and individuals.  Analysts have interpreted them as a response to Russia’s actions on March 28 in casting an opposing vote on the extension of the activities of the panel of experts for the UN Sanctions Committee on North Korea.

UN Security Council resolutions state that no UN members are to engage in military cooperation with North Korea, including weapon transactions, and that any North Korean workers staying within their borders are to be sent home.

Zakharova denied the allegations of transactions involving military goods, insisting that North Korea and Russia were developing their relationship in accordance with Security Council resolutions and international law in a way that does not harm South Korea’s security.

She also said relations between South Korea and Russia were facing a serious crisis due to missteps by Seoul with the backing of Washington.

“We are disappointed by South Korean attempts to resolve the issues of the Korean peninsula by sanctions and pressure, which proved ineffective,” she said.

She further urged South Korea to reconsider its “unproductive” approach and “come back to the joint search for political and diplomatic solutions in light of legal concerns of all interested parties.”

“South Korea apparently lacks the immunity to protect itself from Washington's external influence,” she said, suggesting that South Korea was being used by the US and other Western countries as part of a “monstrous” plan amid their overreaction to cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow.

She went on to say that South Korea’s actions were only harmful to itself.

By Park Byong-su, senior staff writer

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