US Sanctions 3 Firms Linked To North Korea-Russia Arms Deals

The United States has imposed sanctions on three companies connected to a U.S.-designated arms dealer who has attempted to facilitate arms deals between North Korea and Russia for the latter to use it to attack Ukraine.

The three entites targeted by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) are Limited Liability Company Verus (Verus), Defense Engineering Limited Liability Partnership (Defense Engineering), and Versor S.R.O.

Earlier this year, the United States designated Slovakian national Ashot Mkrtychev for attempting to facilitate arms deals between the two allies. Mkrtychev is the President of Versor S.R.O., the founder and owner of Limited Liability Company Verus, and the sole director of Defense Engineering.

Through his negotiations with Korean and Russian officials, Mkrtychev organized potential plans to transfer more than two dozen kinds of weapons and munitions to Russia in exchange for a range of goods, including raw materials and commodities, to Korea, the Department of the Treasury said.

“The United States continues to root out illicit financial networks that seek to channel support from North Korea to Russia’s war machine,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Alongside our allies and partners, we remain committed to exposing and disrupting the arms trade underpinning Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine.”

Today’s action underscores our commitment to identify, expose, and impose severe costs on third-country actors who support Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine, Nelson added. He also warned that Washington will continue to take actions against those attempting to evade U.S. sanctions.

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