South Korea bans strategic exports to Russia and participates in SWIFT sanctions

Seoul — South Korea will join the Western move to tighten export restrictions on Russia by banning the shipment of strategic items and block some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payment system, the Seoul Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Said on Monday.

In a statement, the ministry said, “The Korean government has condemned Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine and decided to actively participate in the efforts of the international community, including economic sanctions, as a responsible member of the international community.” Said. ..

Among the strategic items that can be controlled are the supply of electronics, semiconductors, computers, telecommunications, sensors and lasers, navigation and aeroelectronics, and marine and aerospace equipment.

Immediately after the announcement, Russia’s Ambassador to Korea Andrey Kulik regretted joining the sanctions, accusing the Western partner of the United States of “strong external pressure” on Seoul.

He called Moscow’s actions in Ukraine a “special operation” aimed at protecting Russia from Western forces trying to use Ukraine “as a tool” to increase military threats.

Two major South Korean banks confirmed on Monday that they had suspended trade lending with at least seven Russian banks, although they had not yet received specific guidelines from SWIFT, or a member-owned cooperative of interbank payment systems. ..

South Korea’s Shinhan Bank and other major lenders have said they have stopped issuing letters of credit and other trade loans to PSB, VEB, VTB, Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Sovcombank and Sberbank. The second South Korean bank refused to be identified because of the sensitivity of the problem.

Russia and South Korea Institute of International Economic Policy Europe.

“The difficulties experienced by Korean Russian goods buyers and other exporters in payment difficulties can lead to supply disruptions and rising prices.”

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Korean government would promote additional strategic oil reserve releases to stabilize the international energy market and take other steps such as reselling liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe. He also said he had decided to consider it.

The ministry said South Korea supported humanitarian aid to Ukraine and the decision was officially notified to the US government through diplomatic channels.

According to Yonhap News Agency, plans are also seeking an exemption from Washington’s sanctions on Russia, as measures to block access to Russia’s high-tech products could affect South Korean exporters such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. be.

Following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last week, the US government announced that it would implement export controls designed to separate Russia from semiconductors and other advanced technologies essential for its weapons development and biotechnology.

Shin Hyun Hee and Cynthia Kim