Biden thanks South Korea for joining Russia sanctions, Blue House says

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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as he meets with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto to discuss "Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

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SEOUL, March 8 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden has sent a letter of thanks to South Korean President Moon Jae-in for joining financial sanctions and export controls against Russia, Moon's spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The country began halting transactions with the Russian central bank and immobilising its assets held in won currency from Tuesday, after stopping transactions with seven other Russian banks and their affiliates.

"South Korea's resolute decision will be a strong message that it supports Ukraine's sovereignty," the spokeswoman quoted Biden as saying in the letter.

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The move followed similar action by the United States and the European Union in a global effort to isolate Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Seoul has also said it will tighten export controls against Russia by banning shipments of strategic items, and release 4.42 million barrels of national oil reserves to make up disruptions to supply. read more

Biden said the oil reserves decision also showed the strength of the united effort and a resolve to stabilise the world energy market and achieve the shared goal of energy security, the spokeswoman added.

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Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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