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Switzerland slaps more sanctions on Russia

The Swiss government did not ban Russian media as has the European Union. Keystone / Mikhail Klimentyev

The Swiss government on Friday adopted additional sanctions against Russia for its ongoing war in Ukraine but did not ban the Russian state TV channels Sputnik and Russia Today like the European Union.

Switzerland joins the sanctions measures adopted by the European Union on March 9 and 15. It has already imposed a series of sanctions in line with the EU. The first sanctions were announced on February 28, four days after the invasion of Ukraine. They came after some hesitation in Bern over Switzerland’s neutrality.

The new measures come into force on Friday at 11 pm. Export of goods for the energy sector and related services are banned. So is the provision of loans or other financial resources to companies operating in the energy sector, as well as holdings in such companies. Steel imports from Russia are prohibited and the export to Russia of luxury goods and goods used for maritime navigation.

In the financial sector, transactions with certain state-owned enterprises and the provision of credit rating services are also banned. Certain exemptions from financial sanctions are allowed for humanitarian purposes in order to facilitate the work of humanitarian organizations.

Sputnik and Russia Today

However, the Swiss government did not take up the measure adopted by the EU on March 1 concerning the broadcast of certain Russian media, in particular Sputnik and Russia Today. Bern said that although these channels are tools of propaganda and disinformation, it is convinced it is more effective to counteract them with facts than to ban them.

The EU bans the broadcasting of Russian state media at all levels – including by cable, satellite, websites or applications. The German and French versions of Russia Today are also affected. The ban is implemented by the media regulators of the EU states.

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About Swissinfo
SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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