June 18
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The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions on two Russian citizens and three Russian entities for facilitating arms sales from North Korea to Russia, the Department of the Treasury informed in a press release, VOA reports.

As per the statement, operating through networks based in Russia, these individuals attempted to evade sanctions by using front companies to transport military equipment to Russia.

In March 2023, OFAC blacklisted Ashot Mkrtychev for attempting to facilitate arms deals between Russia and North Korea.

In August 2023, OFAC added three more companies to the list, including Verus LLC, a Russian company linked to Mkrtychev's network, which he used to evade sanctions.

During 2023, the director of Verus LLC, Rafael Gazaryan, worked with Mkrtychev on arms deals in connection with North Korea and Russia.

In particular, in October 2023, Gazaryan coordinated with Mkrtychev commercial offers to supply them with mortars and ammunition.

Also, Gazaryan used the Russian company Trans Capital to facilitate the shipment and delivery of aircraft components to a North Korean arms dealer. In addition, Gazaryan is the owner of the Russian Rafort Limited Liability Company .

In March 2023, Aleksey Budnev facilitated the delivery of military communications equipment to Russia that was manufactured in North Korea and intended for the Russian Armed Forces. Budnev is the sole owner of Russia’s Tekhnologiya LLC.

Rafael Gazaryan, Ashot Mkrtychev, Aleksey Budnev, and the companies listed above are subject to sanctions for directly or indirectly importing, exporting or re-exporting weapons or related materials to North Korea.

As of this date, all property and interests owned by the above persons located in the United States or under the possession or control of US persons are frozen and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entity that is 50 percent or more owned directly or indirectly, individually or collectively by one or more blacklisted persons is also blocked.

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