MAS issues new sanctions in relation to Russia

      On 5 March, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore released details of Singapore’s new sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Subsequently, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued notices to financial institutions setting out financial measures in relation to Russia.

      Similar to the announcement made on 5 March, financial institutions are prohibited from dealing with designated banks and entities and are required to freeze such assets and funds that may already be present within the institution and in their control in Singapore.

      Designated banks include 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 list of designated entities, invovled in the delivery of military goods or certain electronics will be announced later.

      Financial institutions in Singapore are prohibited from financial dealings related to raising new funds for the Russia government, the Russia Central Bank and other entities they control or own. Additionally, Financial Institutions are prohibited from entering into financial transactions or provide financial services to persons carrying activities relating to certain sectors in the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. The sectors are transport, telecommunications, energy and prospecting, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources.

      The financial sanctions also specify that financial institutions should not enter into or facilitate any digital payment token transaction where proceeds or benefits from such transaction may be used to aid prohibited transactions or activities.

      Financial institutions should take steps to review their existing customer base and check if the entities themselves or individuals who may be controlling those entities are not on the sanctions list. To avoid a breach, sanctions screening should be extended to all relevant parties involved in a transaction.

      Financial institutions with current exposure to sanction individuals and entities are required to immediately inform MAS and provide information such as those relating to the funds, financial assets, economic resources, transactions, proposed transactions.

      Please click here for more details on the MAS Notice.

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