Ukraine: Further trade and financial sanctions imposed against Russia

Bern, 04.03.2022 - On 4 March, the Federal Council approved the total revision of the Ordinance on Measures connected with the Situation in Ukraine, thereby adopting further packages of European Union sanctions against Russia. The newly adopted measures concern in particular certain goods and financial services. Switzerland’s list of sanctions has been extended accordingly. The implementation of these sanctions is compatible with Switzerland’s neutrality. Due consideration is being given to humanitarian activities.

Following the decision taken by the Federal Council on 28 February to adopt the packages of sanctions imposed by the EU on 23 and 25 February in respect of Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Ukraine, the measures contained therein have now been implemented in full. These mainly concern trade and financial sanctions. The changes come into force at 6pm on 4 March and can be viewed on the website cited below.

The export of all dual-use items to Russia is now prohibited, regardless of their end-use or end-user. In addition, the export of goods that could contribute to Russia's military and technological enhancement or the development of the defence and security sector is prohibited. In this context, it is also prohibited to provide technical assistance, brokering services or financing.

The export to Russia of certain goods and services in the oil sector is no longer permitted. Furthermore, the export of certain goods and technology that can be used in aviation and the space industry is prohibited. Certain services related to these goods, for example insurance, repair work, inspections, brokering services and financial assistance, are also prohibited.

The provision of public financing or financial assistance for trade with or investment in Russia is prohibited. Other restrictive measures in the financial sector concern securities, loans and the acceptance of deposits. Transactions with the Russian Central Bank are also no longer permitted. Furthermore, the Federal Council has decided to impose the sanctions in the financial sector that the EU adopted on 1 March, with the same exemptions. In particular, this concerns SWIFT, the international messaging system for financial transactions.

The Federal Council has decided to add the individuals on the list of persons adopted by the EU on 28 February to Annex 8 of the Ordinance and thereby freeze the assets of further persons with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The implementation of these sanctions is compatible with Switzerland’s neutrality. In the case of dual-use goods and strategic components, the principle of equal treatment will apply if they are intended for military purposes or military end-users. The Federal Council intends to ensure that the sanctions imposed do not hinder humanitarian activities. It has therefore provided for humanitarian exemptions to sanctions that could affect them.

The Federal Council continues to monitor developments closely. It will decide autonomously on whether to adopt any further EU sanctions against Russia.

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