Interfax: Reports on U.S. intention to monitor Russian ports in Primorye wrong – source in U.S. Congress

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

WASHINGTON. May 6 (Interfax) – Reports on the United States’ intention to monitor Russian ports in Primorye for their compliance with the sanctions imposed on North Korea are wrong, a source in the U.S. Congress said.

“The report you passed along is wrong,” the source in the House Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives told Interfax, replying to a request for a comment on information on U.S. intention to monitor Russian ports in Primorye.

“The bill would sanction ports and port operators if they do not comply with UN Security Council resolutions,” the source said.

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov imageIn the meantime, the text of the bill tightening the sanctions against North Korea which was adopted by the House of Representatives on May 4 does not include provisions on monitoring of Russian ports in Primorye.

Russian ports in Vanino, Nakhodka, and Vladivostok are mentioned in the bill’s Section 205 alongside ports in China, Iran and Syria. The section stipulated that “not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this section, and annually thereafter for 5 years, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report.” According to U.S. legislators, those reports shall include, in particular, information on subjects in foreign ports that “significantly fail to implement or enforce regulations to inspect ships, aircraft, cargo, or conveyances in transit to or from North Korea, as required by applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

Those reports “shall be submitted in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex,” the bill said.

As can be seen from the text of the bill, each of such reports “shall include specific findings with respect to the following ports and airports” in the list of ports in Syria, Iran, China and Russia (Vanino, Nakhodka and Vladivostok).

On May 5, media reports on U.S. intention to control ports in Primorye due to the sanctions imposed on North Korea caused a strong reaction in Russia.

In particular, Konstantin Kosachyov, the head of the Federation Council committee on international affairs, said that the U.S. bill envisaging the possibility of the U.S. administration monitoring Russian ports violates international law.

“This bill, like a huge number of other ‘pies’ baked by the Congress, naturally, runs counter to international law. No country in the world and no international organization, primarily the UN, has authorized the United States to monitor the fulfillment of any resolutions of the UN Security Council,” Kosachyov told Interfax.

There is nothing new in this maneuver, Kosachyov said. “The Americans are doing everything they can to ensure supremacy of their own legislation over international, which is generally the main threat to international law and the main problem of today’s international relations,” the senator said.