Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, on February 28 in his Ministerial Statement on the Situation in Ukraine and its Implication, announced that the government is imposing sanctions on Russia for the “unjustified attack and act of war” against Ukraine.
He said: “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.
“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.
“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. We will also block certain Russian banks and financial transactions connected to Russia. The specific measures are being worked out and will be announced shortly.”
He added that Singapore is a “staunch supporter of international law and the principles enshrined in the UN Charter. The sovereignty, the political independence and the territorial integrity of all countries, big and small, must be respected. Singapore must take any violation of these core principles seriously, whenever and wherever they occur. This is why Singapore has strongly condemned Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.”
He also cautioned that “We must expect that our measures will come at some cost and implications on our businesses, citizens and indeed, to Singapore. However, unless we as a country stand up for principles that are the very foundation for the independence and sovereignty of smaller nations, our own right to exist and prosper as a nation may similarly be called into question one day.”
The minister said: “It is heartbreaking to see the heavy casualties and the loss of many innocent lives, resulting from this unjustified attack and act of war. We strongly urge Russia to cease this offensive military action immediately, and to work for a peaceful settlement in accordance with the UN Charter and international law. We also call for safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and all those in need.”
Additionally, the Singapore Government will contribute US$100,000 to assist affected communities in Ukraine via the Singapore Red Cross, which is working through the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. These funds will go towards the provision of relief supplies such as hygiene kits, family kits and household kits for the vulnerable who are displaced by the conflict.
Photo credit: iStock/ Yeo Shao Jie