25 Feb 2019 09:41

UNSC should lift or mitigate sanctions against N. Korea that impede inter-Korean projects - Lavrov

HO CHI MINH. Feb 25 (Interfax) - The UN Security Council should lift or mitigate the sanctions against North Korea in response to Pyongyang's test moratorium, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"The logic of the prepared package [measures towards de-escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula] implied the impossibility of demanding the unilateral and complete fulfillment of all terms by Pyongyang before considering the possible easing of sanctions. The Singapore summit showed that this problem cannot be resolved hurriedly," Lavrov said at a session of the Valdai Discussion Club.

"We call for motivating Pyongyang's further progress right now. It has imposed a test moratorium and stays committed to it, so we believe that the UN Security Council could at least make a gesture by weakening or lifting some sanctions in the area that is impeding inter-Korean relations," Lavrov said.

The proposal of normalization on the Korean Peninsula included a program of peaceful uses of atomic energy and a decision not to impose additional sanctions, he said.

"There was an agreement not to impose additional sanctions. Many believe that the agreement would not have been kept anyway, but the reason why it was broken is that the United States imposed sanctions on a certain bank in Macao, which serviced North Korea's transactions in the past, after the agreement not to impose additional sanctions was reached. It was more than [the sides] agreed upon," Lavrov said.