Ukraine: Switzerland expands sanctions listings

On 18 December 2023, the European Union imposed additional sanctions against Russia as part of its twelfth sanctions package in retaliation for Russia’s continued military aggression against Ukraine and destabilising actions that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and security of Ukraine. The sanctions package went into effect on the same day. On 21 December 2023, the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education, and Research (EAER), which is in charge with implementing sanctions, took over these new sanctions against Russia. Thus, on the same day, 86 companies and organisations operating under its jurisdiction were subjected to Swiss sanctions.

As a result, Switzerland has implemented the modifications that the European Union has determined in response to Russia’s persistent military aggression towards Ukraine. The amendments became effective on 21 December 2023 at 18:00 CET. This information was conveyed to the Federal Council on 22 December 2023.

The EU’s twelfth package of sanctions includes a phased ban on the importation of diamonds originating from or travelling through Russia, among other provisions. Since Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine commenced, imports of diamonds originating from Russia to Switzerland have declined significantly as the Federal Council stated in its press release. As of this moment, direct imports of natural or synthetic diamonds from Russia to Switzerland have ceased.

At its meeting on 22 December 2023, the Federal Council was apprised of these measures by the head of the EAER. He also announced that the EAER had updated the document “Interpretative Guidance on Sanctions Measures” on 21 December 2023. The amendments relate to the general information on the interpretation of asset freezing measures in the Swiss sanction measures. Thus, point 1.5 has been amended. The Federal Council announced that it will address the potential adoption of further sanctions in due time.


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