Russia and China have slammed “unilateral” sanctions directly imposed by countries without the backing of the United Nations Security Council.
Russian deputy ambassador to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said Tuesday that unilateral sanctions hurt peace efforts and interfere with the sovereignty of sanctioned nations such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria.
“Only Security Council sanctions are legal,” Polyanskiy said, adding that such sanctions are “an important tool for reacting to global challenges.”
The Chinese ambassador to the UN also described coercive unilateral sanctions as a “major source of concern,” which should be stopped immediately.
Sanctions that don’t receive the support of the Security Council shouldn’t be applied “excessively”, Chinese diplomat said adding that UN sanctions against North Korea have had serious humanitarian consequences.
Currently, 14 countries are under UN sanctions. Russia and China have long tried to get to ease UN sanctions on North Korea, mostly recently blocking attempts to sanction a group of North Korean officials after a series of missile tests by DPRK.
Referring to unilateral sanctions, Russia’s top UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya last week mocked persisting US-led threats of sanctions against his country amid the raging row over the Ukraine conflict, saying, “We learned to live with that.”
“We’ve been sanctioned so many times that we lost count,” Nebenzya said adding that, “I hope they will have enough reason not to move forward with that. But that will backfire.”
The US has repeatedly threatened Russia with heavy sanctions over the Ukraine conflict. Washington and the West accuse Russia of amassing troops near Ukraine’s border for a possible invasion.
Moscow rejects the allegations, saying the troop build-up is defensive as NATO has increased its activities near Russian borders.