Russia’s Hands-Off Approach To North Korean Cooperation with Breakaway Ukrainian Territories
Long insistent that it abides by UN directives regarding North Korea sanctions, Moscow has used the UN’s mandate to justify allowing cooperation between the DPRK and the two pro-Russian breakaway regions the Kremlin officially recognized just days before its invasion of Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Ministry states that there are no barriers to the Donetsk and Luhansk republics cooperating with North Korea insofar as they’re not UN members
North Korea is under UN sanctions that limit the possibilities of other countries to cooperate with Pyongyang, yet the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic are not members of the intergovernmental organization, and therefore are free to hire North Korean laborers to help with the restoration of infrastructure in the two republics. Such was the view of the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s International Organizations Department Petr Ilichev in response to recent comments from the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin regarding talks aimed as putting construction workers from North Korea to work in the Donbas. According to Mr. Ilichev, Moscow is not a position to act as a “Cerberus” with regards to the republics’ external relations.
“The parameters of supposed cooperation between the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, about which (head of the republic) Denis Pushilin spoke, pertains to the degree of close relations between these two independent states, and as such, details should only be sought from Donetsk and Pyongyang” the diplomat told RIA Novosti. He also noted that UN resolutions do not obligate Russia to be a “self-proclaimed hellhound” and limit developments pertaining to third countries.
North Korea officially recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics on July 13th, one of the first countries to do so. Afterwards the leader of Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, announced that he was considering bringing construction workers from North Korea to help rebuild the republic. A member of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Public Council, Igor Korotchenko, also stated that the DPRK is ready to send troops to Donbas to help Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry later claimed that statement was false.
Original article by Victoria Kolganova. Translated by Anthony V. Rinna.
 Source: Russian Foreign Ministry states that there are no barriers to the Donetsk and Luhansk republics cooperating with North Korea insofar as they’re not UN members [В МИД РФ заявили, что у ДНР и ЛНР нет препятствий для сотрудничества с КНДР, поскольку республики — не члены ООН], Kommersant, August 18, 2022, https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5514964