Russia-Ukraine War: Japan To Freeze More Russian Banks’ Assets

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Japan will freeze assets held by four more Russian banks in another round of sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Thursday.

Japan’s latest round of sanctions followed the announcement by members of the European Union (EU) on Wednesday to exclude seven Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, the main system underpinning global financial transactions.

In a statement, SWIFT said it would disconnect the seven Russian banks from its network on March 12, as per EU regulations.

“Japan supported the EU’s decision and would firmly implement sanctions with other group of seven members,” Suzuki said.

In addition, the Japanese government on Thursday froze the assets of 18 additional Russian officials and seven high-ranking Belarusian officials, along with two Belarusian organisations.

“The Japanese government is also considering slapping more stringent sanctions on Belarus pertaining to export control measures,” the statement said.

Japan had already imposed a barrage of sanctions on Russia. Moscow had vowed to retaliate with its own economic repercussions on those countries imposing sanctions on Russia.

According to the Japanese finance ministry, its move to restrict Russia from SWIFT will come into effect on April 2.