Russia supplies shells and rockets from North Korea, US says

(Updates with US State Department)

WASHINGTON, Sept 6 (Reuters) – The United States said on Tuesday that Russia was buying millions of artillery shells and rockets from North Korea.

According to Washington, these purchases show that Moscow faces significant supply shortages that jeopardize its ability to support its offensive in Ukraine.

Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s UN ambassador, dismissed the information, initially reported by The New York Times, which cited recently declassified US intelligence documents.

“I haven’t heard of it and I think it’s fake news going around,” he told reporters.

A State Department spokesman told a news conference in Washington that Russia’s purchases of “millions of rockets and artillery shells” to aid in its war effort in Ukraine would represent a violation of United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

US government officials told the New York Times that the purchases underscore the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia, reducing the latter’s ability to sustain its offensive in Ukraine.

US officials have said they expect Moscow to again source military equipment from North Korea.

The North Korean mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Written by Gerry Doyle; French version Jean Terzian and Camille Raynaud)

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