Russian deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov announced on Friday that Moscow only recognizes sanctions adopted by the United Nations Security Council and therefore is no obligated to carry out sanctions set by Washington.
“We don’t recognize one-sided American sanctions, we have no international obligations to comply with them,” the RIA news agency quoted Morgulov as saying.
Such sanctions include those on North Korea.
Morgulov also said Russia would not expel North Korean citizens who are subject to US sanctions, and the US special representative for North Korea had been invited to visit Moscow, RIA reported.
On Thursday, South Korea said there was mounting evidence that sanctions against North Korea are having an effect, with trade across the Chinese border with the north now virtually "frozen up."
The claim comes from South Korean Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-Wha, who has been speaking to reporters on the fringes of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Kang welcomed a new wave of diplomacy with North Korea, which includes the two Koreas jointly competing in certain events at next month's Winter Olympics, which the south is hosting.
But the foreign minister emphasized that for sustained diplomatic progress to be made beyond the Olympics, North Korea needs to recognize its stance on nuclear weapons is "unacceptable " and has "to move away from that course .... find a different course and engage."
She said the south wants to see "some kind of a momentum" created as a result of the Olympic rapprochement, but warned "south-north relations cannot improve without some traction and advance on the nuclear front."