Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly gifted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a Russian Aurus Senat Limousine – despite United Nations sanctions.

    Reuters reports Kim Jong Un visited Russia in September 2023 and, while on his visit, Mr Putin showed the North Korean leader one of his black armoured limousines.

    “When the head of the DPRK (North Korea) was at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, he looked at this car, Putin showed it to him personally, and like many people, Kim liked this car,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

    “So this decision was made,” Mr Peskov said. “North Korea is our neighbour, our close neighbour, and we intend, and will continue, to develop our relations with all neighbours, including North Korea.”

    The Russian Government denied the gift violates United Nations sanctions that ban supplying luxury items to North Korea, which had been imposed to pressure the country to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

    “I think champions of international legal purity should be asked what damage is caused by illegal sanctions when, because of the West’s sanctions war, people the world over cannot secure food, medicines and vaccines,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram.

    North Korean news agency KCNA reported Kim Jong Un accepted the gift and thanked Mr Putin. He reportedly said the gift “serves as a clear demonstration of the special personal relations between the top leaders of the DPRK and Russia and as the best one”.

    Aurus Motors is a Russian luxury car manufacturer that was founded in 2018. Its vehicles were originally commissioned for Russian Government use until 2021 when it sold its first civilian model.

    The Russian Government announced late last year assembly of Aurus models had commenced in the United Arab Emirates.

    While current pricing isn’t readily available, when the Senat was released to the Russian public it cost more than 20 million rubles, which at current exchange rates works out to be just over A$330,000.

    The Aurus Senat Limousine uses a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 443kW of power and 880Nm of torque.

    It offers VR8/VR10-level ballistic protection which Aurus claims is the international standard for armoured vehicles.

    In addition to the Senat, Aurus also offers the Komendant SUV.

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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