Russians want off Swiss sanctions list – and beg Parmelin to get it
Switzerland has now sanctioned more than 1,200 people and companies close to the Kremlin. Some of them are fighting now. The hope of “success” has recently spread from the Kremlin.
Since the outbreak of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the Swiss authorities have maintained a kind of “copy and paste” policy on economic sanctions: they have only ever adopted what the European Union has decided – always with much delay and certain inconveniences. According to the official formulation of the authorities, it was a question of “increasing” the effect of the international sanctions.
The result of this takeover policy is a document which now has more than 300 pages and lists 1156 people and 98 companies or organizations: Their funds and “economic resources” have been frozen. Not surprisingly, this is not the case for everyone involved. Now, some of them have already filed a formal request to be removed from the Swiss sanctions list.
Fabian Maienfisch, a SECO spokesperson, confirmed this to Watson. However, the authority does not provide any further information regarding the ongoing procedure. It is therefore not known exactly which people and how many submitted an application.
“Copy-paste” for the new sanctions
SECO’s reluctance to communicate is surprising: if a sanction is lifted, it becomes public anyway. Sanctions lists are public, individual changes are also listed separately. This aims to guarantee a certain degree of rule of law: the state should not be able to secretly and arbitrarily sanction individuals.
If sanctioned persons or companies are removed from the list, it would be explosive: unlike fines, for example, it is not a court but the Federal Council that decides whether the sanction was wrongly imposed. It is therefore a highly political decision: the department of Economy Minister Guy Parmelin (UDC) is primarily responsible, but the final decision rests with the Federal Council as a whole. And for him, such a request for “delisting” would be an exercise in political balancing act.
The state government will not only listen to the arguments of the oligarch or a company, but will also have to pay attention to foreign policy: if it removes a name, the sanctions of the EU or the United Nations that are identical to it will be weakened. .
Russian media reported on the alleged success
Affected Russians, but also sanctioned Ukrainian citizens with Kremlin ties, are still hoping for a concession from the federal government in Bern. They are told in the Russian media that Switzerland is said to be one of the most hostile countries in the world to Russia and that the sanctions are “illegal” anyway. Such accusations are justified by statistics intended to show the number of “anti-Russian sanctions”. Switzerland is mentioned at the top and would have adopted hundreds of sanctions more than the EU.
A month ago, Russian politician Vyacheslav Volodin even accused Switzerland of being partly responsible for the rise in energy and food prices because of such figures. Such “illegal sanctions against Russia” are primarily responsible for future global economic crises, according to Volodin on his Telegram channel.
Volodin’s claim came the same week that Russian media, including Kommersant, reported on an alleged victory for a Russian company: billionaire EuroChem managed to get it off the Swiss. The title was wrong, but was widely circulated in Russia, which may have inspired some oligarchs to also submit a deletion request to the Swiss Federal Council.