Ukraine: Federal Council widens its policy to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions

Bern, 13.08.2014 - The Federal Council today held a further discussion on the situation in Ukraine where recent developments give considerable cause for concern. It has decided to extend its current policy and undertake all necessary measures to ensure that the most recent sanctions imposed by the European Union cannot be circumvented via Swiss territory. The Federal Council also decided to widen the existing ban on exports of war material to Russia and Ukraine to specific military goods.

The Federal Council is deeply concerned by the intensification of the conflict in Ukraine and condemns the violations of national and international law. It reiterates its position that the referendum of 16 March 2014 in Crimea was illegal and that the annexation of Crimea by Russia is contrary to international law, in particular the principle of territorial integrity. At the same time Switzerland seeks to contribute to a peaceful solution in Ukraine as part of its own foreign policy, and in its capacity as chair of the OSCE. The Federal Council calls on the parties involved to exercise restraint and to engage in dialogue in order to prevent further escalation of the conflict.

Switzerland continues to closely monitor the situation in Ukraine and the Federal Council has acknowledged the new, sectoral sanctions imposed by the EU. It today took the decision to complement the measures already in place to ensure that Swiss territory cannot be misused to circumvent these sanctions. The Federal Council has tasked the EAER to draw up further specific measures to prevent the circumvention of the sanctions in place in the EU and to submit these to the cabinet at the earliest opportunity.

In terms of military and dual-use goods the Federal Council has also instructed the EAER to maintain the existing ban on exports of war material to Russia and Ukraine and to extend this to specific military goods. In compliance with national legislation the relevant authorities have not issued any licences for the export of war material to Russia and Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine. Furthermore, the export control authorities have also been instructed to exercise rigour when examining licence applications for dual-use goods intended for military usage in Russia and Ukraine.

Following the Russian annexation of Crimea, the Federal Council issued the Ordinance on Measures to Prevent the Circumvention of International Sanctions concerning the Situation in Ukraine (SR 946.231.176.72) on 2 April 2014. The annexes to this ordinance were amended on 1 May, 19 May and 4 August 2014 to take account of the measures imposed by the EU. By way of example, financial intermediaries based in Switzerland may no longer enter into business relationships with the private individuals named in the annexes to the ordinance.

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Antje Baertschi, Head of Communications, SECO, Tel. 058 463 52 75

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Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Last modification 30.01.2024

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