Switzerland sanctions Russian banks, politicians

Bern toughens compulsory measures adopted in 2014

Switzerland is introducing financial sanctions on three Russian banks and travel restrictions on 361 State Duma deputies, the president of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis announced at a press conference on Thursday.

He didn’t give details on the targeted banks but said Bern would be toughening the compulsory measures it had introduced against Russia in 2014, due to the Ukraine crisis. 

“For reasons of neutrality, Switzerland did not directly adopt sanctions at that time. Today, the government has sharpened its response … The EU sanctions issued yesterday are to be integrated into this ordinance in the form of anti-circumvention measures, and individual measures will be tightened, particularly in the financial sector,” Cassis explained.

The government would adjust its regulations so Switzerland could not be used to circumvent sanctions imposed by the European Union, he added. The list of persons sanctioned by the EU will be adopted in principle, Cassis said. 

Switzerland is obliged under international law to implement only sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council.

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