Western nations have taken drastic measures against Russia in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. Bern should follow suit by tightening its sanctions on Monday.
Russia’s neural hub for the hydrocarbon trade and a valuable financial center for its oligarchy is under pressure from all quarters to join Switzerland’s firm stand on international sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s release to Ukraine. The pressure is coming from the street aside, but from all political parties in the country.
Pressures are felt internationally as well. Since Saturday, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States have announced new economic measures that will make Moscow a financial “baria”. The G7 has also decided to hunt down the wealth of oligarchy targeted by sanctions. Many decisions shed light on what Switzerland is going to do, and its neutrality does not protect it from the necessary explanations.
Towards a “strong hardening”
The seven sages are due to meet again urgently on Monday. The government should be tough on Moscow. Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter has already announced at a meeting in Brussels that he “personally supports the strengthening of measures against Russia.”
During its extraordinary meeting last Thursday, the Federal Council decided to “drastically tighten” sanctions on Switzerland, Ignazio Cassis recalled on Sunday during a televised news release by the RTS. “The finance and economy sectors have been given the mandate to prepare the package and I think we will move in this direction tomorrow,” the federation president said. Outcome: Billions of Russian assets in Switzerland are likely to be frozen. “Switzerland will decide in this direction tomorrow,” he said, adding that this was a joint decision that had not yet been made. Answer this Monday.
According to figures from the Bank for International Settlements, Swiss banks’ liabilities to Russian customers in the third quarter of 2021 were $ 23 billion, including $ 21.4 billion in deposits.
Russian oligarchs also have interests in large Swiss companies. In addition, 80% of Russia’s oil and gas trade is done in Switzerland, with estimates quoted by Swiss newspapers that the country is home to large commodity companies such as Kunvor, Trophigura or Glencore.
(mst / afp)
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