Berlin. Swiss authorities said on Thursday they had received information about 46.1 billion francs ($48.5 billion) in assets held by Russian citizens and entities in the Alpine country after the imposition of sanctions on Russia more early this year. Switzerland has also implemented the sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Although the Alpine country is not a member of the European Union, it maintains close ties with the 27-nation bloc.
The Swiss Secretariat said that as of November 25, the total amount frozen under sanctions in Switzerland was 7.5 billion francs. Last February, the Swiss president declared that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was unacceptable and would accept the sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia, including the freezing of assets. Ignazio Cassis told a press conference on Monday that the assets of wealthy Russians who have accumulated money illegally will be confiscated.
He said Russia’s attack was unacceptable for moral and political reasons. Significantly, the Swiss government refrained from directly condemning Russia’s action because it has a habit of remaining neutral and playing the role of mediator between opposing countries. The president said: “The Federal Council has decided to accept the sanctions imposed by the European Union.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the Swiss government to freeze the bank accounts of all influential Russian industrialists. Swiss public broadcaster SRF had reported that Zelensky had addressed thousands of anti-war protesters in the Swiss city of Bern via a live broadcast. He had said: “The people who made this war have money in your banks. Help fight this so that their funds are frozen. It would be good to withdraw these privileges from them.
Tags: russia ukraine war, Swiss
FIRST POST: 02 December 2022, 00:55 IST