Extension of the asset freeze of the Federal Council in the context of Ukraine

Bern, 10.12.2021 - At its meeting on 10 December the Federal Council extended by one year the preventive asset freeze relating to Ukraine. The purpose of this decision is to support the judicial cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities.

In February 2014, in connection with the situation in Ukraine at the time, the Federal Council froze the assets of ousted President Yanukovych and his entourage in the amount of approximately CHF 70 million. Since then, Ukraine has been conducting criminal proceedings against the main individuals concerned. In connection with these criminal proceedings, Ukraine submitted several requests for mutual legal assistance to Switzerland. Switzerland was able to transfer numerous pieces of evidence to Ukraine. With regard to potential restitutions, court rulings on the illicit origin of the assets have yet to be rendered in Ukraine. Against this background, the Federal Council has decided to extend the preventive asset freeze relating to Ukraine until February 2023.

The Federal Act on the Freezing and the Restitution of Illicit Assets held by Foreign Politically Exposed Persons (FIAA; SR 196.1) governs the duration of freeze orders and the conditions for their extension for an additional year (Art. 6 para. 1). An extension is possible if the state concerned has expressed its willingness to cooperate within the framework of mutual legal assistance proceedings. The maximum duration of such a freeze is limited to ten years.

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