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Russia summons Swiss ambassador over parliament's motions to funnel frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 12, 2024 9:37 PM 2 min read
The Federal Palace, Switzerland's parliament building, in Bern, Switzerland, March 2023. (Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned Swiss Ambassador to Moscow Krystyna Marty Lang to protest the Swiss parliament's decision to initiate the development of a mechanism for confiscating frozen Russian assets, the ministry said on March 12.

The Swiss legislature voted on March 7 to approve three measures that would open the door for the future confiscation of Russian state assets frozen in Switzerland and redirect them to Ukraine's reconstruction.

"In the case of the practical implementation of such plans by Bern, retaliatory measures by the Russian side will be inevitable," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its official Telegram channel.

Western countries and other partners immobilized around $300 billion of the Russian Central Bank's assets at the beginning of the full-scale invasion in 2022.

The Swiss government estimated in December 2023 that it had frozen $8.8 billion in Russian state assets as part of its sanctions against Russia.

The figure is much smaller than the total amount of money from Russian nationals and legal entities held by Swiss banks, which was estimated by the Swiss government to be around $48.15 billion.

The Financial Times reported earlier on March 12 that Ukraine may receive up to 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in Russian assets frozen by the EU as early as July.

FT: Ukraine may get 3 billion euros from frozen Russian assets in summer
Ukraine may receive up to 3 billion euros in funds from the profits of frozen Russian central bank assets as early as July, the Financial Times reported on March 12, citing unnamed officials.
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