Seoul, 8 March 2022 (TDI): South Korea will sever transactions with the Central Bank of Russia along with immobilizing any assets held by the bank, ratcheting up sanctions against the country.

This move comes after Soth Korea announced earlier about banning exports of strategic items along with blocking some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system. Likewise, South Korea announced a boost of aid to Ukraine.

The banned items will include semiconductors, electronics, computers, information and communications, navigation and avionics, sensors and lasers, and marine and aerospace equipment.

Russia-South Korea Ties

After the collapse of the USSR, South Korea and Russia established diplomatic ties in 1991. On November 20th, 1992, Russia and South Korea signed a protocol providing regular visits of defense official naval vessels between the two countries.

The South Korean government’s primary concern is that a potential conflict would create supply chain disruption and price spike in the international market that would certainly affect South Korea.

Russia is South Korea’s 12th largest trading partner. South Korea will face rising energy and food due to the possibility that flows of Russian oil and natural gas may be disrupted or Ukraine’s lower wheat production which might result in high prices on the international market.

A potential conflict will also generate financial pressures on the 13 South Korean companies in Ukraine and forty companies in Russia. Since 1990 there has been greater trade and co-operation between the two countries.

The total trade volumes between South Korea and Russia in 2003 were 4.2 billion US dollars and increased to 24.8 billion US dollars.

On July 23rd, 1997 during a visit of Russia’s Foreign Minister to Seoul a hotline agreement was signed in order to provide a special communication between the official residence of Russian and South Korean Presidents.

Russian President Putin visited Seoul in February 2001 which was reciprocated by the South Korean President in September 2004. South Korea and Russia are partners in a six-party talk on North Korean nuclear proliferation.

South Korea and Russia are also working together in the construction of the bilateral industrial complex NAKHODA free economic area in Russia’s far east gas fields development Irkutsk.