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Newsline: Singapore’s Top Diplomat Calls on China to Influence Russia to End Ukraine War

Singapore’s top diplomat said he hopes China will use its “enormous influence” on Russia to help end its war with Ukraine, warning that Beijing’s decisions in the coming days and weeks could determine the future path of the global economy. “The big issue now is what decisions and actions China takes,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said in an interview with Haslinda Amin to be broadcast at the upcoming Bloomberg Live’s Asean Business Summit. Singapore last month became the first Southeast Asian nation to say it is imposing unilateral sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, a move Balakrishnan said was necessary due to “the egregiousness of it all.” Calling the invasion “perhaps even a bigger moment than the fall of the Berlin Wall,” he said China has a greater economic stake than Russia in an “integrated multilateral rules-based world.” “I hope they will assert their influence with Chinese characteristics, which means quietly and discreetly, but effectively,” Balakrishnan said of President Xi Jinping’s government. “That’s a hope now. Whether this is wishful thinking on my part we’ll see over the next few days and weeks.” (https://time.com/6157712/singapore-calls-china-end-russia-invasion-ukraine/) Singapore’s biggest banks have restricted trade financing for Russian raw materials including a halt on issuing so-called letters of credit in U.S. dollars for trades involving oil and liquefied natural gas, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Singapore Airlines Ltd. has also suspended all return services with Moscow due to operational reasons. Singapore has rarely imposed sanctions on other countries in the absence of binding United Nations Security Council approval.

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