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Singapore to impose sanctions on Russia

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore will impose sanctions on Russia “in concert with other like-minded countries”, said Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday, citing “the unprecedented gravity” of the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

The measures will include imposing export controls on items that can be used directly as weapons in Ukraine, and blocking certain Russian bank and financial transactions connected to Russia.

Delivering a ministerial statement on the matter in Parliament, Dr Balakrishnan detailed Singapore’s approach to conducting foreign policy: “Instead of choosing sides, we uphold principles. Consequently, when we conduct our foreign policy in a coherent and consistent manner, we also become reliable partners for those who operate the same principles.

“However, there will be occasions when we have to stake a stand, even if it is contrary to one or more powers, on the basis of principles, as we are doing now.”

Dr Balakrishnan said Singapore has “rarely acted” to impose sanctions on other countries, in the absence of binding United Nations Security Council decisions or directions.

“However, given the unprecedented gravity of the Russian attack on Ukraine and the unsurprising veto by Russia of a draft Security Council Resolution, Singapore intends to act in concert with many other like-minded countries to impose appropriate sanctions and restrictions against Russia,” said Dr Balakrishnan.

Dr Balakrishnan also noted that Singapore was one of 82 co-sponsors of a recent United Nations Security Council Resolution to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Ultimately, it was not passed, as Russia – a permanent member of the council – vetoed it.