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Switzerland opposes blind duplication of EU anti-Russian sanctions

August 03, 2014, 12:51 UTC+3 GENEVA
Blind duplication of EU sanctions on Moscow will make Switzerland’s position weaker as a neutral-status country, said chief of the Swiss Federal Department for Economic Affairs, Education and Research
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© NED ALLEY/EPA

GENEVA, August 03, 12:08 /ITAR-TASS/. The chief of the Swiss Federal Department for Economic Affairs, Education and Research opposed the Swiss Confederation to copy European sanctions on Russia.

Blind duplication of EU sanctions on Moscow will make Switzerland’s position weaker as a neutral-status country which may contribute to the search for ways to resolve Ukrainian crisis, Johann Schneider-Ammann said in an interview with Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag published on Sunday.

“This role will be weakened, if we duplicate EU sanctions,” Schneider-Ammann said, recalling that Switzerland presides in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) this year.

Meanwhile, the minister is concerned that Swiss possible sanctions on Russia may “result in the domino effect,” when not only Russian companies, but also those from Switzerland will turn out to be in a hard situation. “This will also have a negative impact on our economy,” the minister warned.

Meanwhile, the head of the economic agency noted that Bern should not permit Switzerland to be used to avoid EU sanctions on Russia.

With this in view, Switzerland has announced its sanction list over Russia’s position on Ukraine once in April and twice in May. The list has repeated first three portions of EU sanctions on Russia with 61 individuals and two companies on it. Restrictions on financial transactions in the Confederation were imposed against all these people. They cannot transfer their assets which they have outside the European Union to Switzerland. The movement of assets from EU states is already ruled out, because they were frozen according to EU sanctions.

However, Switzerland does not support further EU sanctions.

Meanwhile, Schneider-Ammann intends to pay an official visit to Russia’s capital, Moscow, in October. This decision should be taken finally in August. Economic and scientific bilateral co-operation are high on the agenda of the visit which has been negotiated since the previous year.

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