Seoul imposes export control measures on Belarus over Ukraine conflict
South Korea has announced the introduction of export control measures against Belarus, citing Minsk’s support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier this week that his country “had not taken part and has no plans to take part” in Russia’s military attack on Ukraine. However, he has supported the offensive.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday issued a statement saying that on February 28, four days after the beginning of the conflict, the Korean government “strongly condemned Russia’s armed invasion against Ukraine and decided to take export control measures on Russia for a peaceful resolution of the situation.”
“In this regard, the Korean government decided today (March 6) to implement export control measures against Belarus under the judgement that Belarus is substantially enabling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the ministry said.
The Korean government will inform its partners, including the US, of this measure and will further expand “support and protection for Korean companies and overseas Koreans that may be affected by the measures.”
“The export control measures on Belarus will be similarly applied as those on Russia,” the announcement said.
On February 28, the country announced that it would block the export of strategic items to Russia. The Korean government also decided to participate in the exclusion of Russian banks from SWIFT.
Earlier this week, Seoul said that it had secured some exemptions from US sanctions on exports to Russia. As a result, South Korea can continue to sell some goods to Russia, such as smartphones and cars. However, the country pledged to “review and finalize actionable measures in the near future” regarding the export of non-strategic items to Russia.
The offensive in Ukraine, launched by Moscow with the stated goals of “demilitarizing” and “denazifying” Ukraine, protecting Donbass, and defending Russian national security amid NATO expansion, was met with wide condemnation from the West. Most Western nations imposed harsh sanctions on Russia, targeting various sectors of its economy, while the list of foreign companies ceasing operations in Russia continues to grow.