The President of Switzerland has said that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is unacceptable and that he will accept sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia, including confiscation of assets. Ignazio Cassis said on Monday that the assets of wealthy Russians who hoard money illegally would be confiscated. He said that Russia’s attack is unacceptable on moral and political grounds. “The Federal Council has decided to accept the sanctions imposed by the European Union,” the president said.
The Swiss government has refrained from directly condemning Russia’s actions because of its history of being neutral and acting as mediators between hostile countries. The international community has unilaterally and collectively imposed a number of economic and diplomatic sanctions on Russia. The US and Britain have unilaterally imposed sanctions on two of Russia’s largest banks, Sberbank and VTB Bank. They have imposed travel restrictions on Russia’s important oligarchs and froze their assets. Canada and Australia have done the same.
Germany has also indicated a halt to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Estonia have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. The UN Security Council will not be able to impose any sanctions because of Russia’s use of the veto, but the European Union has imposed travel and financial sanctions on many Russian people and establishments.
EU sanctions apply to 555 Russian individuals and 52 entities. These include 351 members of the Russian State Duma who have supported aggression against Ukraine. The EU, along with the US and the UK, has agreed to exclude select Russian banks from the SWIFT banking system. Apart from this, many diplomatic sanctions have also been imposed on Russia.