Taiwan to join international sanctions against Russia (update)

02/25/2022 10:36 AM
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Taiwan's Premier Su Tseng-chang (center) condemns Russia's aggression outside of the Legislature Yuan

Taipei, Feb. 25 (CNA) Taiwan on Friday announced that it will join the United States and other countries in imposing sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, but did not immediately provide details.

In order to compel Russia to halt its military aggression against Ukraine, and to restart peaceful dialogue among all parties concerned as soon as possible, the Republic of China government will join international economic sanctions against Russia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said, using Taiwan's official name.

According to a statement from the Biden administration of the United States, the U.S. will impose sweeping financial sanctions on Russia's largest financial institutions and export control measures that will cut off more than half of Russia's high-tech imports, as well as restrictions on sales of semiconductors to Russia.

Taiwan's government strongly condemns Russia's decision to start a war in violation of the United Nations Charter by invading Ukraine and occupying Ukrainian territory by force, MOFA said in a statement.

"This action has jeopardized regional and global peace and stability," the MOFA. "It also poses the most serious threat and challenge to the rules-based international order and system of international laws that maintain and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries."

As a member of the global democratic alliance, Taiwan "staunchly defends the core universal values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights," the ministry said.

Taiwan will continue to coordinate closely with the U.S. and other like-minded countries to adopt appropriate measures in order to free Ukraine from the horrors of war, as well as restore, at the earliest time, peace and stability to the region and the world, it said.

Meanwhile, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) also explained why Taiwan will join international sanctions against Russia.

"Russia undermined regional peace by invading Ukraine, which has drawn condemnation from around the world," Su told local media at the Legislative Yuan.

Taiwan strongly condemns Russia's aggression, Su said, adding that "at the same time, we will impose sanctions [on Russia] following other democratic countries."

Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said the ministry was in talks with allies about imposing sanctions and would finalize the details soon.

Currently, the government can regulate exports of Taiwanese goods to Russia based on the Wassenaar Arrangement, she said.

Established in 1996, the Wassenaar Arrangement seeks to ensure that transfers of conventional arms, dual-use goods and technologies do not fall into the hands of terrorists and contribute to their development or enhancement of military capabilities, according to agreement's website. Taiwan is not one of the 42 participating states.

The Taiwan government's announcement came a day after the Kremlin launched an invasion in Ukraine by land, sea and air in what Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed as a "special military operation" to achieve the "demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine."

Ukraine's government is calling Russia's military actions a full-scale invasion.

According to the Associated Press' reports from Ukraine, Russian forces have carried out airstrikes on Ukrainian cities and military bases, sent in troops and tanks from three sides, and are reportedly closing in on Ukraine's capital Kyiv.

Thousands of civilians are reported to be sheltering underground, including in the capital's subway stations.

Foreign media reported earlier this week that Taiwan's government was considering restricting the export of strategic goods to Russia. It's unclear, however, whether Taiwan, which makes much of the semiconductors in the world, will restrict exports of the crucial high-tech products to Russia and how much impact that would have if it did do so.

Ukraine's government had urged the international community to impose serious sanctions against Russia.

Besides the U.S. sanctions that will target Russian banks, oligarchs, state-controlled companies and high-tech sectors, the UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also said he plans to cut off Russia from the U.K.’s financial markets, freeze the assets of all large Russian banks and stop Russian companies and the Kremlin from raising money on British markets.

(By Teng Pei-ju and Elizabeth Hsu)

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Update

Feb. 25: Ukrainians in Taiwan anxious over family's safety

Feb. 25: Taiwan wary of potential ripples created by Ukraine crisis: defense minister

Feb. 25: Ukraine backers rally outside Russian representative office in Taipei

Feb. 25: Taiwan evacuates citizens from Kyiv by bus amid Ukraine crisis

Feb. 25: Taiwan financial firms' exposure to Russia & Ukraine tops NT$217 billion

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