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Famously neutral Switzerland imposes sanctions against Russia in rare intervention

Swiss Federal Councilor Viola Amherd announced sanctions against Russia on Monday as a punitive measure for invading Ukraine. It's a rare act of intervention by Switzerland, which is famously neutral in most world conflicts. File Photo by Alessandro Della Valle/EPA-EFE
Swiss Federal Councilor Viola Amherd announced sanctions against Russia on Monday as a punitive measure for invading Ukraine. It's a rare act of intervention by Switzerland, which is famously neutral in most world conflicts. File Photo by Alessandro Della Valle/EPA-EFE

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Switzerland, a country that's well-known for remaining neutral during conflicts, said on Monday that it also will impose economic sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine.

The Swiss government called the Russian invasion a "serious violation of international law."

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Although it's not a member of the European Union, Switzerland said that it's ordering the same sanctions against Moscow that have already been imposed by the EU.

"In view of Russia's continuing military intervention in Ukraine, the Federal Council took the decision on [Monday] to adopt the packages of sanctions imposed by the EU," the Swiss government said in a statement.

"The assets of the individuals and companies listed are frozen with immediate effect," it added. "The financial sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are also to be implemented with immediate effect."

Switzerland said it will close its airspace to Russia and ban imports, exports and investments connected with the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Last week, Putin declared those regions independent from Ukraine and then sent Russian troops into those areas. Just days later, he launched the invasion.

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Switzerland has said that it will start delivering 25 tons of relief supplies Ukrainian refugees in Poland. The aid will include supplies and medicines from the Armed Forces Pharmacy.

The EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell praised the Swiss government's move, saying that it will be troublesome for wealthy Russian influencers to have Swiss banks closed to them.

Scenes from the Russian war on Ukraine

European Union leaders attend a summit at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris on March 11, 2022. Photo by the European Union/ UPI | License Photo

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