(LEAD) S. Korea to ban exports of strategic materials to Russia
(ATTN: UPDATES throughout; RECASTS headline, lead; ADDS photo)
SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has decided to ban exports of strategic materials to Russia as part of efforts to join global sanctions against Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday.
Seoul also plans to join the international move to exclude Russia from the SWIFT international payment network and has notified the United States of the decision via a diplomatic channel, according to the ministry.
The decision came as Washington is rallying allies and partners to impose "devastating costs" on Russia, including its isolation from global financial and trade systems.
Seoul is expected to bar the exports to Russia of strategic materials singled out by four multilateral export control regimes -- the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG); the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA); the Australia Group (AG); and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
The regimes are aimed at fending off the spread of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery vehicles and related technologies and equipment.
Earlier, Washington announced restrictions on exports of U.S. origin technology and products to 49 Russian military entities, including its defense ministry, under a "policy of denial."
Washington is known to have requested Seoul take such strong export control measures against Moscow.
South Korea also plans to finalize a decision on possible steps it can take in connection with U.S. standalone export curbs against Russia on dozens of items, such as semiconductors, computers, telecommunications, information security equipment, lasers and sensors.
Seoul's decision to join the move to remove Russia from the SWIFT payment system came after the U.S., Britain, Canada and other countries moved to exclude key Russian banks from it.
South Korea will decide on specific financial measures to take after interagency consultations, the ministry said.
Seoul has had internal deliberations on the sanctions apparently to maintain room for diplomacy with Russia, still a crucial partner for peace on the Korean Peninsula, trade and other exchanges.
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