The Straits Times says

A principled call in applying sanctions

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The announcement on Monday by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan that Singapore would impose sanctions on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine was principled, entirely justified under international law and consistent with Singapore's long-term national interests. Singapore has always complied with resolutions endorsed by the United Nations Security Council which are binding. But this time, Singapore took the added step of following through with sanctions against Russia even though the resolution condemning Moscow's actions was not adopted because it was, not surprisingly, vetoed by Russia, a permanent member of the council. Dr Balakrishnan explained that "the unprecedented gravity" of the Russian attack on Ukraine was one of the reasons why Singapore decided to impose sanctions.

Russia justified its invasion on various grounds, including that it was a defence against Nato's expansion and claims of genocide against Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin went so far as to even question Ukraine's sovereignty. None of these claims has any merit in fact or under international law. The last of them is also a fragrant violation of the legally binding 1994 Budapest Memorandum under which Russia, as a signatory, committed "to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine", in exchange for Kyiv surrendering nuclear weapons that it inherited from the former Soviet Union. The overwhelming UN General Assembly vote on Wednesday reprimanding Moscow for its invasion is added proof of the rejection of Russia's claims.

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