Russia Vetoes U.N. Resolution, Abolishing Monitoring of Sanctions Against North Korea

Andrei Maluishev, left, leading a delegation of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, shakes hands with Pak Kyong Chol, North Korean vice-minister of Culture, at the Pyongyang international airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution on Thursday, effectively abolishing the monitoring of U.N. sanctions against North Korea by a panel of U.N. experts.

The Security Council resolution sponsored by the United States would have extended the mandate of the panel for a year, but Russia’s veto will halt its operations.

The vote in the 15-member council was 13 in favor, Russia against and China abstaining.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told the council before the vote that Western nations are trying to “strangle” North Korea and sanctions have proven “irrelevant” and “detached from reality” in reining in its nuclear program.

The resolution does not alter the sanctions, which remain in force.

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