Singapore sanctions Russia for ‘unprovoked attack’ on Ukraine

A view shows a building, which city officials and residents say was damaged by recent shelling, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine March 4, 2022. REUTERS/ Oleksandr Lapshyn

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SINGAPORE, March 5 (Reuters) – Singapore on Saturday announced sanctions against Russia, including four banks and an export ban on electronics, computers and military items, in a rare move by the Asian financial hub in response to what he called “dangerous” Moscow. previous” in Ukraine.

The tiny city-state, an international shipping hub, rarely imposes its own sanctions, but said it would not allow the export of items that could hurt or subjugate Ukrainians, or help Russia to launch cyberattacks.

“We cannot accept the Russian government’s violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of another sovereign state,” its foreign ministry said in a statement, which gave no time frame for the entry into force of the sanctions.

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“For a small state like Singapore, this is not a theoretical principle, but a dangerous precedent. That is why Singapore strongly condemned Russia’s unprovoked attack.”

The restrictions prevent Singapore’s financial institutions, including its central bank, from doing business with Russia’s central bank as well as VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company (VTBR.MM), The Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank, Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company and Bank Rossia. The measures also cover cryptocurrencies.

Singapore’s stance against the Russian invasion is the strongest of any Southeast Asian country to date.

A declaration Thursday by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Singapore is a member, called for a ceasefire in the Ukraine crisis, but made no mention of the involvement of Russia.

Asked by Reuters about its exposure to Russia, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC reiterated the new measures, which it said would also apply to government funds managed by GIC.

“The GIC continues to assess the Russian-Ukrainian situation and will ensure compliance,” he said in an email response.

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Reporting by Chen Lin and Anshuman Daga; Editing by Martin Petty and Kim Coghill

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