GENEVA: Traditionally neutral Switzerland will adopt all the sanctions already imposed by the EU on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including against President Vladimir Putin, Bern said on Monday (Feb 28).
“This is a big step for Switzerland,” Swiss President Ignazio Cassis told a press conference, after the Alpine nation had for days hesitated over whether to join the international move to sanction Moscow over the attack on its neighbour.
As the European Union last week slapped Russia with biting sanctions after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Bern only said it would ensure that those penalties could not be circumvented via Switzerland.
But following a government meeting on Monday, Switzerland announced it was now fully onboard with the sanctions.
“Switzerland will implement the sanctions in coordination with the EU,” the government said in a statement, adding that these were “primarily goods and financial sanctions”.
But they also included the freezing of the assets of persons and companies.
In particular, the government said Switzerland would with “immediate effect” impose the sanctions already imposed by the EU on Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“In so doing, Switzerland is responding to the serious violations of international law for which these individuals are responsible,” it said.
The announcement came as Russia’s mission in Geneva said that Lavrov had been forced to cancel his trip to the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council due to the “anti-Russian sanctions” imposed by EU countries.