Malaysia rules out imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia has no intention of imposing sanctions against Russia. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Malaysia has no intention of imposing sanctions against Russia, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said, just days after neighbouring Singapore in an unprecedented move censured the country over its invasion of Ukraine.

"We don't believe in unilateral sanctions," Datuk Seri Saifuddin told lawmakers in Parliament on Tuesday (March 8).

"Sanctions have to go through the United Nations. As a Human Rights Council member, we have already recommended a ceasefire and for negotiations to continue."

Singapore on Saturday announced sanctions against Russia, marking the first and only country in South-east Asia so far to do so without going through the UN.

The sanctions include imposition of export controls on items that can be used as weapons, targeted financial measures on designated Russian banks and restrictions on cryptocurrency trades that may be used to circumvent financial sanctions.

"We have to be careful about sanctions even though they are one of the most powerful weapons that can be used," Mr Saifuddin said. "Innocent people will be impacted the most" if the measures are not targeted, he said.

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