| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

Singapore sanctions Russia over ‘unprovoked attack’ on Ukraine

Singapore imposed penalties on Russia on Saturday, including the closure of four banks and a ban on the sale of electronics, computers, and military equipment, in a rare measure by the Asian financial center in response to Moscow’s “dangerous precedent” in Ukraine.

The tiny city-state, an international shipping center, seldom imposes sanctions on its own, but has stated that it would not allow the transfer of anything that may injure or enslave Ukrainians, or assist Russia in conducting cyber assaults.

“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 timeframe for when the sanctions would take effect.

“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.”

The restrictions bar Singapore’s financial institutions from entering into transactions with VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, The Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank, Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company and Bank Rossiya. The measures also cover cryptocurrencies.

Financial institutions are also barred from entering into transactions and providing services that facilitate fundraising for Russia’s government, central bank or entities under their control.

Singapore’s stand against Russia’s invasion is the strongest so far by a Southeast Asia country.

statement on 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 Russia’s involvement.

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 the government’s funds managed by GIC.

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

  • Reuters