ST. PETERSBURG, October 16. /TASS/. The European Union’s further sanctions against North Korea are an ill-timed signal, a senior Russian lawmaker told TASS on Monday.
"I think that today’s decision of the European Union to impose further sanctions against North Korea is not a signal that could be now expected from Brussels concerning the North Korean problem," said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international committee of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house.
"Today, the problem cannot be reduced to Pyongyang’s banal non-implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. The problem is that the situation has actually developed into an open confrontation between the United States and North Korea on the brink of an armed conflict," he said.
According to Kosachev, today’s unilateral measures against North Korea only demonstrate the European Union’s commitment to the Atlantic "brotherhood in arms" and play down its authority as an independent international player that could be trusted by all parties to international conflicts.
"Stronger pressure on North Korea will in no way push it to dialogue. In any case, such dialogue should be at least offered. But, regrettably, Brussels has opted for the role of Washington’s obedient shadow," he noted.
The European Union’s voluntary refusal to act as an independent player is a big loss for the international community, since "Europe is the only player [US President Donald] Trump could theoretically heed," the Russian lawmaker noted. "But it looks like there is nothing and no one to heed there."
Touching on a number of restrictions Russia has imposed against North Korea in line with the United Nations Security Council resolution, Kosachev stressed that Russia "is strictly keeping to the frames" set by the Security Council resolutions.
"But the European Union has obviously gone beyond these frames. Thus, whereas the United Nations document envisages restrictions on exports on oil products to North Korea, Brussels has completely banned imports, purchase and shipment of oil products from North Korea following the radical editions of the Security Council resolutions offered by Washington and rejected by the United Nations, which are being unilaterally implemented by Washington," he noted.
Earlier in the day, the European Union imposed further unilateral sanctions on North Korea. The restrictions are applicable to trade in oil, financial transactions and joint ventures. Apart from that, three individuals and six entities have been added to the EU blacklist. The sanctions came into force immediately.European businesses are prohibited to have any contacts with North Korea’s army and defense ministry, as well as with four major companies active in international trade and sea shipments.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has dramatically aggravated in the recent months following Pyongyang’s missile tests. The United Nations Security Council has adopted two resolutions toughening international sanctions against North Korea. Moreover, Pyongyang announced its plans to conduct a nuclear test in the Pacific and US President Donald Trump threatened that the US would wipe off that country.