Singapore to impose sanctions on Russia in light of Ukraine invasion

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan stated that Singapore would now “act in concert with many other like-minded countries” in reaction to Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Alicia Ang

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Published: 1 March 2022, 12:43 PM

Singapore will impose sanctions on Russia soon in light of its invasion of Ukraine, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan in Parliament on Monday (Feb 28).  

As part of the sanctions, export of items that could be used as weapons in Ukraine will be heavily controlled. Certain Russian banks and financial transactions connected to Russia would be blocked. 

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a clear and gross violation of international norms and a completely unacceptable precedent,” said Dr Balakrishnan. 

“The sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected. This is why Singapore has strongly condemned Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.”

The details of the sanctions are still being worked out and will be announced shortly. 

Singapore has always complied fully with sanctions and decisions of the UN Security Council, but we have rarely acted to impose sanctions on other countries in the absence of binding Security Council decisions or directions,” Dr Balakrishnan added.

“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.”

This comes after a draft resolution was presented at the United Nations Security Council to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on Feb 26, of which Singapore was a co-sponsor. 

As a Security Council member, Russia vetoed the resolution, despite 11 of the other 14 members voting in favour. The remaining three members, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, abstained from the vote.

“This is an existential issue for us. Ukraine is much smaller than Russia, but it is much bigger than Singapore,”  Dr Balakrishnan stated. “A world order based on “might is right”, or where “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must” would be profoundly inimical to the security and survival of small states.”

“We cannot accept one country attacking another without justification, arguing that its independence was the result of “historical errors and crazy decisions”. Such a rationale would go against the internationally recognised legitimacy and the territorial integrity of many countries, including Singapore.”

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