Russian assets: Federal Council continues to follow international developments closely

Bern, 13.12.2023 - The Federal Council continues to closely monitor international discussions on the status of sanctioned Russian assets, and in particular legislative developments within the European Union (EU). It instructed the EAER and the FDFA to finalise the analysis of two EU directives once the final texts were published, and to submit the results to it.

The Federal Council has taken note of the political agreement reached within the EU on the proposal for a Directive on the definition of criminal offences and penalties for the violation of Union restrictive measures as well as the proposal for a Directive on asset recovery and confiscation. It acknowledges that the texts of these directives have not yet been published, and that their formal adoption is still pending, pointing out that Swiss law allows for the criminal prosecution and punishment of those responsible for violating international sanctions.

The Federal Council has instructed the relevant departments of the Federal Administration to continue monitoring developments regarding these two related directives. Once the final texts of the two directives have been published, the Federal Council will determine what action, if any, is required on the Swiss side.

Last June, the Federal Council mandated the FDFA and the EAER to deliver an assessment of these two directives by the end of November 2023. However, the assessment has had to be postponed since the texts have not yet been formally adopted in the EU.

In addition, the Federal Council continues to closely monitor other steps being taken at international level on sanctioned Russian assets, including in particular the discussions by the G7 and within the EU in relation to immobilized Russian state-owned assets.

Switzerland is committed to ensuring that the various discussions underway lead to solutions that are in line with its legal system, international law and foreign policy objectives.

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