On 5 August, the Swiss Federal Department of Economic affairs announced that 26 individuals and 18 entities had been added to its “watchlist” of persons connected to the on-going Ukrainian crisis. The list mirrors the EU’s sanctions regime and is designed to prevent designated individuals and entities in Russia from circumventing international sanctions by using Swiss financial structures.
Listed persons are prohibited from entering into new business relationships with Swiss financial institutions, which would therefore prevent assets held by, or on behalf of, those persons outside of the EU from being transferred to Switzerland. Financial institutions with pre-existing relationships with listed persons are subject to reporting obligations and are required to notify the Swiss authorities of any requests by listed persons to conduct transactions.
The list now comprises 87 individuals and 20 entities and includes senior officials of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk, separatist leaders and Russian officials, including members of the Security Council Mikhail Fradkov and Nikolai Patrushev. The Donetsk People’s Republic, the Federal State of Novorussiya and armed separatist groups are also listed.
Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann stated in an interview with Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag that, while Switzerland would not adopt its own sanctions regime, it would “make sure – and this is the key point – that Switzerland can’t be used to circumvent the sanctions. And that has to remain our policy for the foreseeable future.”