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Switzerland protects Putin's oligarchs' money from G7: Parliament passes resolution

Swiss Parliament saved billions of dollars of Russian oligarchs
Swiss Parliament rescued billions of dollars of Russian oligarchs. Source: Unsplash

Switzerland will not join the international working group on tracing the assets of Russian oligarchs. The country's parliament has decided that it has already cooperated sufficiently with this body and that further expansion of contacts would pose a threat to the country's independence.

This is stated in the resolution of the Swiss Parliament, which on April 17 rejected the corresponding proposal of the Green Party by 101 votes to 80, which contradicts the recommendation previously given to MPs by the Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Policy.

This refers to the US-led Group of Seven (G7) task force on sanctions against Russia. Its task is to freeze and seize Russian assets that have been subject to European Union and U.S. sanctions.

"It has been found that the current cooperation with the task force is already quite effective, so there are concerns about Switzerland's independence," the parliament said.

Earlier, members of the commission voted that Switzerland needs to do more to fully implement sanctions against Russia. However, the deputies believed that "as the custodian of Russian assets and the main center of Russian commodity trade," Switzerland bears a special responsibility for the effectiveness of sanctions.

According to Bloomberg, the government welcomed the parliament's decision, as it confirmed the position of the executive branch. Nevertheless, after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Switzerland froze Russian assets worth almost CHF 8 billion ($8.77 billion).

It should be noted that the issue of sanctions has become a rather acute problem for the traditionally neutral Switzerland. For this reason, the government was caught between international and domestic pressure.

Some political forces opposed the weakening of neutrality, and the right-wing People's Party collected signatures for a referendum on the inclusion of a non-alignment clause in the country's Constitution. In this case, the government will not be able to participate in international sanctions regimes.

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