Switzerland has unveiled its sanctions against Russia amid the country's continued invasion of Ukraine.
Today, February 28, Switzerland's Federal Council broke its historically neutral status to announce that it is imposing the same sanctions on the Kremlin as the European Union.
Amid Russia's continued invasion of Ukraine, which first began when troops were sent across the border by President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, February 24, the Council explained that the sanctions would mirror those imposed by the EU 'on the 23 and 25 February'.
Each life lost is one too many. We express our solidarity with the people of #Ukraine— SwitzerlandUN (@swiss_un) February 28, 2022
🇨🇭will deliver humanitarian relief & adopt EU sanctions against Russia
At #UNGA special session, we support draft resolution & call on all Member States to do the same & defend the UN Charter pic.twitter.com/VriYYXZoTi
Calling the meeting 'extraordinary', the Council explained that it had decided to adopt the same 'packages of sanctions' as the EU in a bid to 'strengthen the impact'.
It stated: 'The assets of the individuals and companies listed are frozen with immediate effect; the financial sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are also to be implemented with immediate effect.
'Switzerland reaffirms its solidarity with Ukraine and its people; it will be delivering relief supplies for people who have fled to Poland.'
#Swissgovernment Russia’s ongoing military attack on a sovereign European country is an extremely serious violation of international law. The Federal Council is therefore changing Switzerland’s stance on sanctions: https://t.co/coirwbGCgu (BK)— André Simonazzi (@BR_Sprecher) February 28, 2022
Alongside implementing sanctions relating to goods and finances, Switzerland is also enforcing the same financial sanctions administered by the EU.
'In so doing, Switzerland is responding to the serious violations of international law for which these individuals are responsible. The ban on imports, exports and investments concerning Crimea and Sevastopol, which has been in place since 2014, has been extended to the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are no longer under the control of the Ukrainian government,' it stated.
The visa facilitation for Russian nationals that was agreed in 2009 will also be 'partially suspended' by the Federal Council, and Swiss airspace is set to be closed from 3pm today to 'all flights from Russia and to all movements of aircraft with Russian markings'.
🇨🇭 is adopting 🇪🇺 sanctions and will implement them in coordination with EU. Assets of listed individuals and companies are frozen with immediate effect. Financial sanctions against the Russian President, PM and Foreign Minister are also to be implemented with immediate effect.— André Simonazzi (@BR_Sprecher) February 28, 2022
Alongside enforcing the same sanctions as the EU, the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) is set to give the Polish capital of Warsaw an aid package totalling eight million Swiss francs for Ukrainian citizens.
The first installation of supplies is set to reach Warsaw in the next few days, and amounts to 25 tonnes of supplies.
Urgent medical supplies are included in the first package, which is reported as costing around 400,000 Swiss francs.
The shipment will be accompanied by staff from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit.
Switzerland reaffirms its solidarity with the people of Ukraine and will be delivering around 25 tonnes of relief supplies to Poland. The shipment also contains medical supplies and medicines from the Armed Forces Pharmacy.— André Simonazzi (@BR_Sprecher) February 28, 2022
While the Council explained that it 'took Switzerland's neutral and peace policy considerations into account', it noted that it was Russia's 'unprecedented military attack on a sovereign European country' that acted as the 'deciding factor' for the Federal Council to enforce such sanctions and 'change its previous stance'.
It concluded, 'The defence of peace and security and respect for international law are values that Switzerland, as a democratic country, shares with its European neighbours and supports. As before, Switzerland will examine each further package of sanctions imposed by the EU on a case-by-case basis.'
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information