South Korea to Ban Exports of Strategic Materials to Russia

South Korean officials said the government would tighten export controls against Russia by banning shipments of strategic items and excluding Russia from the SWIFT global payment network to back a campaign in holding Moscow accountable for its invasion of Ukraine.

“The Korean government condemned Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine and, as a responsible member of the international community, decided to actively participate in the international community’s efforts, including economic sanctions, for a peaceful resolution of the situation,” Seoul’s foreign ministry said on Monday.

The ministry also said Seoul plans to join the move to remove Russia from the SWIFT payment system that links 11,000 banks and institutions in more than 200 countries.

South Korea would also finalize possible export curbs against Russia on semiconductors, computers, telecommunications, information security equipment, lasers, and sensors.

On Monday, the Russian Ambassador to South Korea, Andrey Kulik, expressed regrets over Seoul’s decision, warning bilateral relations would suffer should a country join anti-Moscow sanctions.

“The decision is deeply regrettable,” Kulik said. “Russia-South Korea relations have developed only in a positive way in the past 30 years. The upward trajectory, I think, will now change course.”

“One thing that should be clearly understood is that countries taking part in sanctions against Russia will not only face considerable damage in bilateral ties but are also participating in illegal acts led by the Western countries,” Kulik added.

Meanwhile, EU Ambassador to South Korea Maria Castillo Fernandez expressed appreciation for South Korea’s “commitment, including humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and for considering Liquefied Natural Gas for the EU.

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