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South Korea bans transactions With Russia’s central bank

South Korea has joined the U.S. and the European Union in banning transactions with Russia’s central bank and sovereign wealth funds, toughening sanctions against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

South Korean transactions with the Bank of Russia as well as the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation and the Russian Direct Investment Fund should stop as of March 8, the finance ministry said in a statement released late Monday.

The ministry also said it added Rossiya Bank to the South Korean sanctions list. Seven other Russian banks had already been added to the list since March 1.

South Korea plans to join the European Union in blocking Russian banks from the Swift global interbank network from 8 a.m. Seoul time on March 13, the ministry added.

South Korea last week decided to ban its public and financial institutions from trading with any sanctioned Russian banks and in new Russian government bonds.

The country also pledged to restrict its exports of strategic and nonstrategic items to Russia.

South Korean banks’ exposure to Russia is estimated at $1.47 billion. South Korea has also set aside 2 trillion won ($1.62 billion) in an emergency aid for businesses hit by the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

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