The United States on Thursday said it had imposed sanctions on a Slovakian man for trying to arrange the sale of over two dozen types of North Korean weapons and munitions to Russia to help Moscow replace military equipment lost in its war with Ukraine.
"Russia has lost over 9,000 pieces of heavy military equipment since the start of the war, and thanks in part to multilateral sanctions and export controls, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has become increasingly desperate to replace them," US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
"Schemes like the arms deal pursued by this individual show that Putin is turning to suppliers of last resort like Iran and the DPRK," she added, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Why were the sanctions imposed?
The Treasury Department said it had imposed sanctions on Slovakian national Ashot Mkrtychev "for having attempted to, directly or indirectly, import, export, or re-export to, into, or from the DPRK any arms or related materiel."
Between the end of 2022 and early 2023, Mkrtychev worked with DPRK officials to obtain over two dozen kinds of weapons and munitions for Russia in exchange for materials ranging from commercial aircraft, raw materials, and commodities to be sent to the DPRK, it added.