The Kremlin today said it regretted new sanctions against North Korea by the United States that include Russian firms and a company director. The US slapped fresh sanctions Thursday on several North Korean entities and officials as well as two Russian companies trading with Pyongyang, adding more economic pressure on the isolated regime over its nuclear weapons push. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the measures “are a factor that continues to have a negative effect on our bilateral relations,” quoted by RIA Novosti news agency. He said the measures “continue, unfortunately, the previous line. This provokes nothing but regret.” Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov criticised the sanctions as “showing a lack of ability to look at things more broadly and a knee-jerk return to a discredited approach” in comments to TASS state news agency.
“I got a sense of bad deja-vu,” he added. Yesterday’s announcement listed Moscow-based Ardis- Bearings LLC and its director, Igor Aleksandrovich Michurin, for business they do with North Korean firm Korea Tangun Trading Corporation. Tangun was already placed under sanctions in 2009 for its involvement in North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, the Treasury said. Another Russian firm, the Independent Petroleum Company, has a contract to sell oil to North Korea and “may have” worked to help the country circumvent sanctions, it said.