Singapore Unveils Targeted Financial Sanctions on Russia
Singapore Imposes Targeted Financial Sanctions Against Russia
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s central bank released details of targeted financial measures against Russia, part of the city-state’s broader package of unilateral sanctions induced by the war in Ukraine.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore said the measures apply to all financial institutions in the island republic, including banks, finance companies, insurers, capital market intermediaries, securities exchanges and payment service providers.
Digital payment token service providers are “specifically prohibited” from facilitating transactions that could aid the circumvention of the financial measures, the MAS said in a statement Monday.
The tiny island nation rarely imposes sanctions on other countries in the absence of binding UN Security Council approval, with Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan telling parliament on Feb. 28 that Russia’s show of force threatens a world order that “would be profoundly inimical to the security and survival of small states.”
Under the MAS Act, a financial institution that contravenes its regulations is guilty of an offense and will be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding S$1 million ($733,654), it said.
Singapore’s central bank said prohibitions on digital payment token transactions include offering the purchase, sale or exchange of such tokens as well as brokering or arranging financing for relevant deals, among others.
“These sanctions place an added compliance burden on crypto firms in Singapore in the same way they do on other financial institutions,” said Hagen Rooke, a partner at law firm Reed Smith LLP in Singapore. “The main upshot from a crypto perspective seems to be that Russian entities and individuals can’t resort to crypto transactions to circumvent the Singapore sanctions they are subject to.”
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