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Russia’s ‘unprovoked attack’ on Ukraine results in sanctions from Singapore

A view shows a building, which city officials and locals said was damaged by recent shelling, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Lapshyn

Singapore announced penalties against Russia on Saturday, including the closure of four banks and a ban on the export of electronics, computers, and military hardware, in a rare measure by the Asian financial hub in response to Moscow’s “dangerous precedent” in Ukraine.

The news: The tiny city-state, which serves as an international shipping hub, seldom imposes its own sanctions, but it has declared it will not allow the transfer of equipment that could injure or enslave Ukrainians, or assist Russia in cyber operations.

  • “We cannot accept the Russian government’s violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of another sovereign state,” Singapore’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
  • “For a small state like Singapore, this is not a theoretical principle, but a dangerous precedent. This is why Singapore has strongly condemned Russia’s unprovoked attack.”

What’s going on: Singapore’s financial institutions, including the central bank, are prohibited from interacting with Russia’s central bank, as well as VTB Bank, The Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank, Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company, and Bank Rossiya. Cryptocurrencies are also included in the measures.

  • Singapore’s defiance of Russia’s incursion is the most forceful of any Southeast Asian country to yet.
  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Singapore is a member, issued a statement on Thursday calling for a ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict, but it made no mention of Russia’s participation.
  • Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC underlined the additional safeguards in relation to its exposure to Russia, claiming that they would also apply to the government’s funds handled by GIC.
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