The Swiss Federal Council has discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine at its meeting of 23 February 2022. It condemns Russia’s recognition of the two non-government-controlled territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as independent states as a violation of international law. While the Swiss government has not decided on adopting any sanctions or measures yet, it has stated that it wishes to ensure that Switzerland will not be used as a platform to circumvent sanctions imposed by the EU, as it has already done since 2014, and is therefore examining the newly adopted EU sanctions closely.
Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, which the Swiss Federal Council had also condemned as a violation of international law, the Swiss government had decided not to adopt the European Union’s sanctions against Russia, but to take all necessary measures to ensure that Switzerland will not be misused to circumvent those sanctions. The Swiss Federal Council again wishes to ensure that Switzerland will not be used as a platform to circumvent the new suite of sanctions imposed by the EU. It will therefore examine these sanctions and then come to a decision on how to react. Reading the wording of today’s communiqué, it may be assumed that Switzerland will amend its existing anti-circumvention measures to include the specified parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the measures adopted with respect to Crimea in 2014.