What Singapore has done so far amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine

Ukrainian security forces in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, on March 4, 2022. PHOTO: NYTIMES

SINGAPORE - As Russia's invasion of Ukraine enters its second week, Singapore has made moves to address the conflict - the worst that Europe has seen since World War II.

Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Feb 24 after months of tension at the border, with Russian troops massing and conducting military exercises. Its actions have been widely condemned by countries around the world, including Singapore.

Here is a list of what the Republic has done so far:

Economic sanctions to make a stand

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Saturday (March 5) that banks and other financial institutions here will be prohibited from entering into transactions or establishing business relationships with four Russian banks.

They are: VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company; The Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank; Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company; and Bank Rossiya.

The sanctions, first announced on Monday (Feb 28), will also involve a ban on the export of certain goods to Russia that can be used as weapons to inflict harm on or to subjugate the Ukrainians, or contribute to offensive cyber operations.

They include electronics, computers and military goods.

Co-sponsoring UN resolution

Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Umej Bhatia said on Thursday (March 3) that Singapore has co-sponsored the resolution on the "situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression" tabled by Ukraine.

The resolution condemned human rights violations and abuses resulting from the continued Russian aggression, Ambassador Bhatia said in a statement delivered during an urgent debate at the ongoing 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

It also called on Russia to immediately end such abuses and violations of international law.

The resolution had been been co-sponsored by 66 countries, more than half of which are members of the Forum of Small States, including Singapore.

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$2 million in humanitarian aid

About $2 million has been raised by the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) within a week to help communities affected by the conflict in Ukraine, and the first tranche of supplies has arrived there.

On Friday (March 4), the SRC said the aid is being distributed by the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

SRC, which launched a public fund-raising appeal on Feb 25, thanked the community for its overwhelming support, which included a US$100,000 (S$136,000) contribution from the Singapore Government. The money will pay for relief supplies like hygiene and household kits.

Evacuating Singaporeans out of Ukraine

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Thursday that six Singaporeans are left in Ukraine, after three had been evacuated.

The safety of Singaporeans is a priority, and MFA will help them wherever and however possible, he had said three days earlier in Parliament.

He advised Singaporeans in Ukraine to shelter in place, be vigilant and heed the advice from the authorities. Those who have not yet registered with MFA should do so immediately, he added.

Follow The Straits Times’ live coverage on the Ukraine crisis here.

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