Russia is opposed to introducing international sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yury Fedotov said Wednesday.
"The introduction of sanctions against a country standing on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe is a true phantasmagoria,"Fedotov was quoted by Interfax as saying.
He made the remarks after US Secretary of State Colin Powell had said the problem of possible introduction of UN sanctions against the DPRK over its nuclear program would be resolved withinseveral weeks.
"It is necessary to take steps to settle the so-called North Korean nuclear issue, which would not be counterproductive, but would help achieve the main goal -- a viable, long-term solution to the problem," Fedotov said.
He also noted that "there are no doubts" that the UN Security Council "has a role to play" in this process.
The nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula erupted last Octoberwhen senior US officials alleged that the DPRK had a secret nuclear weapons program. The United States later suspended its heavy oil shipment to the DPRK while the latter announced it wouldreactivate the frozen nuclear facilities for electricity production. The DPRK also pulled out from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on Jan. 10.