Switzerland has extended its sanctions against Russia several times since the attack on Ukraine on February 24. In principle, the Federal Council follows the EU sanctions, but not blindly. It examines every measurement. Here’s an overview:
CONCLUSION: On the day of the Russian offensive, February 24, the Federal Council lifts the sanctions, but tightens the rules preventing the circumvention of sanctions imposed by other states against Moscow. The Federal Council wants to leave the door open for diplomatic discussions, declared the president of the confederation Ignazio Cassis. On February 28, the Federal Council decides to fully resume the sanctions imposed by the EU. Mr Cassis spoke of a measure that Switzerland should not take lightly.
SANCTIONS – FEBRUARY 28: On February 28, Switzerland freezes the assets of people and companies on the EU sanctions list. Financial sanctions are in place against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Michoustin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Five oligarchs are not allowed in. Switzerland supports the exclusion of Russia from the Swift banking communication network. The import, export and investment ban in Crimea and Sevastopol, in force since 2014, will be extended to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. Swiss airspace is prohibited for flights from Russia and for aircraft registered in Russia, with the exception of flights for humanitarian, medical or diplomatic purposes.
SANCTIONS – MARCH 4: The Federal Council resumes all EU financial sanctions against Moscow, as well as additional export bans decided by Brussels. Goods that can be used for military and civil purposes are no longer allowed to be exported to Russia. If a military end-use is envisaged, export to Ukraine is also prohibited. Export bans also apply to goods destined for oil refining and the aerospace industry. Certain services, such as repair and inspection work and insurance, are also prohibited. A license is required for still permitted exports for the oil sector.
SANCTIONS – MARCH 25: The Federal Council introduces new EU sanctions. The export of goods for the energy sector and related services is prohibited. Participation in loans or other financial resources to companies active in the energy sector, as well as the willingness to commit to them, are also prohibited. Imports of steel products from or originating in Russia are discontinued. In addition, export to Russia of luxury goods and goods destined for maritime shipping is no longer possible. In the financial field, transactions with certain state-owned companies and the provision of rating services are prohibited.
SANCTIONS – APRIL 13: The Federal Council plans to implement most of the EU’s fifth sanctions package, which will ban the import of coal and other goods that could generate revenue for Russia, such as drinks, seafood and vodka. Added to this is a ban on the export of kerosene and other goods that could help strengthen Russia’s industrial capacity. Switzerland also intends to adopt the EU’s public procurement bans, as well as the new financial sanctions, especially with regard to trusts. Financial support to Russian public institutions is banned. The Federal Council, on the other hand, has excluded the bans adopted by the EU in the field of navigation and road transport.
EU SANCTION PACKAGES: The EU decided to adopt sanctions against Russia on February 23-25 and March 9-15. Since 25 March, the sanctions of the fourth EU package also apply in Switzerland. The EU adopted its fifth sanctions package on April 8. Switzerland also intends to largely follow suit.
REAL ESTATE: So far, assets worth CHF 7.5 billion have been blocked in Switzerland under the sanctions. This figure was communicated more than ten days ago by the Secretariat of State for the Economy (SECO). No new figures were available on Wednesday. Eleven properties belonging to individuals on the sanctions list have been reported to the Confederacy.
INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES: Switzerland has imposed geographic sanctions on the same individuals, companies and organizations as the EU. Until Wednesday, 1,091 people were on the sanction list. Among the 217 new people registered since Wednesday are the two daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Eighty companies and organizations are now also on the list.
MEDIA: Unlike the EU, Switzerland does not ban the broadcasting of Russian state media. Economy Minister Guy Parmelin acknowledged in an interview with the German-language newspapers of the Tamedia group that the RT and Sputnik channels are “instruments of Russian propaganda”. However, a ban could be interpreted as censorship.