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Neutral Switzerland joins other Western states by adopting financial sanctions against Russia

28 February 2022

On February 28th, 2022, the Swiss Federal Council decided to adopt the packages of sanctions imposed by the EU on February 23rd and 25th, respectively, following Russia’s continuing military invasion of Ukraine. The Swiss Minister of Finance also announced Switzerland’s plans to support international measures regarding the removal of several Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system. 

On this date, the Federal Council instructed the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) to modify the existing ordinance, which, therefore, was revised and renamed to “Ordinance on Measures in connection with the situation in the Ukraine” that took effect on the same day. 

The new ordinance imposed asset freezes on several Russian individuals, entities, and companies listed in Annex 3 of the Ordinance and enforced a prohibition on the provision (directly or indirectly) of assets or economic resources to them. The ordinance also imposed a declaration duty to SECO of the listed entities which hold or manage assets that should be frozen. In addition, the ordinance reinforced existing financial sanctions, including bans on the issuance of certain financial instruments, the granting of loans, and trading certain financial instruments in relation to specific targeted Russian banks and entities. Furthermore, the ban on imports, exports, and investments which have been in place since 2014 (concerning Crimea and Sevastopol), was extended to the Donetsk and Luhansk separatist regions. More information on the sanctions imposed by Switzerland on February 28th can be found here.