Apec will face economic sanctions if war continues: Thai Armed Forces

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2022

Economic sanctions will be imposed on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) trade bloc if the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues, the Royal Thai Armed Forces Security Centre said on Sunday.

It said Russia recently blacklisted eight Apec members, namely the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand.

Thailand is chairing Apec this year but the Foreign Ministry insists the war will not disrupt October’s meeting of the 21-member bloc.

Apec consists of the US, Russia, China, Japan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Chile, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru and Vietnam.

"If the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues, economic sanctions on Apec will emerge," the centre said.

It added that Thailand, which is hosting Apec forums this year, will be under pressure if the US and its partners boycott the forums.

Meanwhile, the centre said it had compiled a list of terrorist groups that have conflicts with Apec members and is focusing on the Asean region and lone-wolf terrorists.

It added that officials in the three Southern border provinces were keeping an eye on locals who had travelled to countries at risk of terrorism as the US had sent Islamist prisoners from Afghanistan back to their homelands last year.

"Currently, no movements are being detected among terrorist groups," the centre said, adding that the 21 Apec members have not flagged up any special concerns ahead of this year’s meetings.

The centre said security, venues and intelligence for the October-November Apec meeting were in place as the country's reputation would be at stake.