Seoul gets Russian sanctions exemptions from US — Analysis
Turmoil stemming from the offensive in Ukraine and the West’s drive to punish Moscow will come at a cost to South Korea
The government announced that Seoul was exempted from US sanctions regarding Russia exports for certain South Korean products. The government said on Thursday that Seoul has been granted exemptions from US sanctions for certain South Korean products. However, it expects that the country’s economy will be hard hit by trade disruptions resulting from the conflict in Ukraine and antiRussian sanctions.
The US agreed to allow South Korea to sell some goods to Russia, including smartphones, cars and washers, Seoul’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Thursday. Washington will allow the exports as long as it is certain that the products don’t have military applications, US officials reportedly told their South Korean counterparts during a working-level meeting on Tuesday. It could also allow South Korean companies to export their Russian-based factories, however this will need to be examined on an individual basis.
Seoul supported the US’s effort to sanction Russia this week with export and financial sanctions. Washington sought exceptions. South Korean technology and software are heavily dependent on the United States and therefore fall under US export restrictions. South Korea isn’t on the list of 32 nations who got blanket exemptions from the US Foreign Direct Product Rule (FDPR).
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had negative fallout on global supply chains and financial and real economy sectors, and chances are that such impacts will deepen,”As quoted by Yonhap, the South Korean Finance minister Hong Nam-ki stated during a meeting of a committee.
It imports large amounts of its energy from the South Asian US ally. According to the minister, it also depends on Russia for raw materials like neon or krypton in order to make electronics.
Russia, which is ranked 10th in the world and accounted for 1.6% last year of South Korea’s exports, has been an important trade partner. About half of South Korean exports to Russia were for products such as auto parts and synthetic resins.
Seoul has been considering how to support Kiev as it tries to safeguard its economy from sanctions. Yonhap claims that Seoul may alter the spelling rules for Ukrainian cities. Yonhap says the Ukrainian government will use both the traditional spelling (Kiev/Kyiv) and its preferred one.
Another symbolic gesture was South Korea’s flight of thousands upon thousands of drones in order to create the Ukrainian and national flags at a Wednesday holiday celebration.
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