UNITED NATIONS, May 27. /TASS/. Russia notes that the diplomatic potential of Western nations, led by the United States, is deteriorating, as they have spoiled recent positive developments on the Korean Peninsula, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said.
"Unfortunately, we see that capacity for political and diplomatic thinking of the hardliners, led by the United States, who ruined all positive developments around the Korean Peninsula that occurred several years ago, is steadily declining," he told a UN Security Council session on Thursday.
"It seems our American and other Western colleagues are living through a ‘crisis of the genre’ - they know no response to crises other than sanctions," the diplomat continued, adding that Russia, "always considered sanctions as a last-ditch measure, that requires thorough elaboration and constant adjustment."
"Now we are reaping fruit of this short-sighted policy of the West," Nebenzya said.
Imposing sanctions on North Korea during the pandemic of the novel coronavirus infection would be an irresponsible move, Nebenzya said.
"Unfortunately, COVID-19 still made it to the DPRK several weeks ago. The epidemiological situation is very dire. We are convinced that it is completely irresponsible to propose new sanctions in a situation when North Koreans are faced with a challenge that, on the contrary, should enable us to consider opportunities for providing assistance to the country," he said.
The Russian diplomat went on to say that even before the pandemic broke out, North Korea experienced "severe shortages of medications", its economy shrunk, while "banking and financial limitations in fact cut North Koreans off an opportunity to buy consumer goods."
Under the current circumstances, "relevance of Russia and China’s proposal to expand humanitarian exemptions from sanctions has only increased," Nebenzya added.