Singapore has become the first Southeast Asian nation to join international efforts in penalizing Russia with sanctions over its recent invasion of Ukraine.Deviating from the generally neutral stance of its neighbors, the city-state said it would follow “like-minded countries” and impose “appropriate sanctions and restrictions” on items that can be weaponized against Ukraine, according to Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
During a ministerial statement on the Ukraine crisis in Parliament, Balakrishnan also condemned Russia’s invasion as “unacceptable and a gross violation of international norms.”
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“In particular, we will impose export controls on items that can be used directly as weapons in Ukraine to inflict harm or to subjugate the Ukrainians,” Balakrishnan said. “We will also block certain Russian banks and financial transactions connected to Russia.”
Singapore is reportedly working out the specific measures and will make further announcements soon.
On Saturday, the 10-member bloc released a statement to express concern over the Ukraine crisis and also call for dialogue, but it did not directly condemn Moscow.
“We call on all relevant parties to exercise maximum restraint and make utmost efforts to pursue dialogues through all channels, including diplomatic means to contain the situation, to de-escalate tensions, and to seek peaceful resolution in accordance with international law, the principles of the United Nations Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia,” the statement read.