March, 2022 - Singapore sanctions on Russia

  • Date: 22/03/2022
March, 2022 - Singapore sanctions on Russia

On 5th March, 2022, Singapore became the first South East Asian country to impose sanctions against the Russian regime in response to the invasion of Ukraine. This is the first time Singapore has imposed unilateral sanctions of its own since the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1978.

As a small sovereign state itself, the Singapore government explained that it felt required to condemn the invasion and take the strongest possible action against what it considers a dangerous precedent.

The sanctions introduced, similar to those brought in by other countries, target both entities and certain trades.  As a result financial institutions in Singapore are now forbidden from entering transactions with the following four banks:

1. VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company;

2. The Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank;

3. Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company; and

4. Bank Rossiya.

No financial services or transactions can be performed which would facilitate fund raising by the Russian government or the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, or any entity controlled by them or acting on their behalf.

Furthermore, financial institutions are prohibited from providing financial services in relation to transport, telecommunications, energy and oil, gas and mineral resources in the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Singapore government has also prohibited the export of military weapons to Russia and high technology goods which could be used for military purposes. Financial institutions are also prohibited from providing financial services in relation to the export of such goods.

Singapore’s decision to impose sanctions of its own should have the effect of making the circumvention of the US, EU and UN sanctions even more difficult for the Russian government.

Further information regarding the sanctions imposed can be found on the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and Members should ensure that they carry out thorough due diligence in respect of their contractual counterparties and commercial arrangements.

As always, if Members have any questions in relation to the above issues they are invited to contact the Club for further information.


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