U.S. Targets Russian Company for Breach of North Korea Sanctions

A Russian financial institution has been placed on a U.S. sanctions list for allegedly helping North Korea evade financial sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Russian Financial Society has been targeted and accused by U.S. officials of opening multiple bank accounts for Dandong Zhongsheng Industry & Trade Co. Ltd, which is owned and controlled by North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank (FTB), Russia Business Today reported.

The Moscow-based company will have any property in the United States blocked as part of the measures. FTB and its chief representative in Moscow Han Jang Su were previously sanctioned, according to the Treasury Department.

The Trump administration is continuing its campaign to pressure North Korea amid efforts to reach a denuclearization deal, including the imposition of financial sanctions.

Wednesday’s action blocks any U.S. assets Dandong Zhongsheng and prohibits any US-based dealings with the company.

“Treasury continues to enforce existing U.S. and UN sanctions against individuals and entities in Russia and elsewhere who facilitate illicit trade with North Korea,” said Sigal Mandelker, U.S. Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

Russian Financial Society gave bank accounts to Dandong Zhongsheng and to a representative of Korea Zinc Industrial Group, which was also previously designated under the U.S. sanctions program, the department said in a statement.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that western sanctions against Russia would not be lifted unless Ukraine’s sovereignty was restored.

Merkel said she and visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had discussed the Minsk peace agreement, adding: “As long as there is no progress on this front, the sanctions cannot be lifted and the sanctions related to Crimea can only be lifted if Crimea returns to Ukraine.”

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