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Switzerland Abandons Neutrality, Nails Russia with Sanctions

Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP, file

In a significant development for Europe's response to Vladimir Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Switzerland announced that it would be slapping sanctions on Russia, breaking from its long-running standard of neutrality in foreign fracases to side with the people of Ukraine.


Swiss Ambassador to the United States Jacques Pitteloud tweeted the announcement that Switzerland was adopting the same sanctions against Ukraine as European Union countries, freezing assets, and declaring solidarity with Ukraine and its people. In addition, Switzerland announced that it would deliver relief supplies for Ukrainian refugees in Poland. Switzerland's Federal Council also announced that it would close Swiss airspace to all flights from Russia and the movement of aircraft registered in Russia starting Monday.

Along with the sanctions, Switzerland lambasted Putin for what it called an "attack on freedom, an attack on democracy, an attack on the civil population, and an attack on institutions of a free country."


Switzerland's departure from its legacy of neutrality will cause more stress on Russia's economy, but the loss of Swiss banks for Russia's elites may have even more of an impact since many Russian oligarchs use Swiss banks to do business and move money around. 

The Europe that was a generation ago, ten years ago, or even a month ago is not the Europe that exists today in its united front against Putin's tyranny.

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