President Ignazio Cassis to travel to Poland and Moldova
Bern, 17.03.2022 - President Ignazio Cassis will travel to Poland and Moldova next week for talks with authorities on the ground about the situation of refugees from Ukraine and also Switzerland's humanitarian aid for Ukraine and neighbouring countries. In Poland, Mr Cassis will meet with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday, 21 March. In Moldova, an exchange with President Maia Sandu is scheduled for Tuesday.
Following Russia's military attack on Ukraine, around 12 million people are currently in need of emergency humanitarian aid. More than three million people have already fled to neighbouring countries, with over half of these arriving in Poland. On 11 March, the Federal Council announced its decision to increase Switzerland's humanitarian aid package in response to the refugee crisis to a total of CHF 80 million. One quarter of this will be used for assisting people who have fled to neighbouring countries. The rest will go towards supporting the population within Ukraine. So far, Switzerland has delivered over 500 tonnes of relief supplies to the region and dispatched a team of experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) to both Poland and Moldova.
At their meeting in Warsaw, President Cassis and Prime Minister Morawiecki will discuss the situation in Ukraine, the reception of refugees in Poland, and European security policy. During the course of Monday, the Swiss delegation will visit the transfer point for Switzerland's humanitarian relief supplies in Lublin and talk with the Swiss expert team on site. A meeting with representatives of international organisations and NGOs is also planned at a refugee reception centre at the Polish-Ukrainian border.
The meeting with President Sandu on Tuesday in Chișinău will be devoted to discussing how Switzerland can best support Moldova in coping with the refugee flows. The two countries enjoy close relations and Switzerland is one of Moldova's most important bilateral donor countries. President Cassis and the Swiss delegation will be briefed about Swiss aid activities on the ground and will visit a refugee centre.
The Swiss delegation travelling with President Cassis to Poland and Moldova includes National Council member Franz Grüter, president of the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC-NR), National Council member Edith Graf-Litscher, member of the Security Policy Committee (SPC-NR), Ambassador Manuel Bessler, Delegate for Humanitarian Aid and head of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA), and Claude Wild, Ambassador to Ukraine and Moldova.
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