Switzerland evades sanctions against Russian oligarchs

Demonstration in Bern

The country’s hesitant attitude toward Russia is also controversial within Switzerland.


(Photo: dpa)

Zurich Switzerland can now decide on sanctions against Russia. This was stated by Federal President Ignacio Cassis in a television interview on Sunday evening. It is very likely that the federal government will follow the lead of the European Union on Monday and decide to freeze Russian assets in Switzerland.

The Swiss Federal Council rejected that on Friday. The country’s government had “strongly” condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, Switzerland did not want to take on EU sanctions, but was content to prevent sanctions from being circumvented through its national territory.

Cassis justified the decision with the “legal and political neutrality” of Switzerland. The goal is to “leave the channels open for negotiations”. The federal president, who also heads the government’s foreign ministry, wanted Switzerland to be a mediator.

There are signs of rethinking Bern

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