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The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Aug. 16 that it had sanctioned three entities attempting to facilitate North Korea’s weaponry supplies to Russia.
The companies are Verus, Defense Engineering, and Versor, registered in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Slovakia, respectively.
All of them are owned or managed by Slovakian national Ashot Mkrtychev, who was sanctioned back in March.
According to the U.S. Treasury, Mkrtychev held negotiations with Russian and North Korean officials, organizing potential plans to deliver over two dozen types of weapons and ammunition to Russia in exchange for a number of goods, including raw materials and products, to North Korea.
“This action is part of the continuing U.S. strategy to identify, expose, and disrupt third-country actors seeking to support Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine,” the U.S. Treasury wrote.
“As Russia has continued to expend munitions and lose heavy equipment on the battlefield, it has been increasingly forced to turn to its few allies, including the DPRK (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), to sustain its unprovoked war in Ukraine.”
On Aug. 15, Washington cautioned Russia on North Korean military ties, saying that such cooperation would violate U.N. resolutions aimed at restricting North Korea's nuclear program.
In addition to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's prior declaration of "complete backing" for Russia's actions in Ukraine, Moscow reportedly initiated talks with Pyongyang regarding the provision of food in return for weaponry.