Poland wants Switzerland to seize Russian assets

Poland Wants Switzerland to Seize Russian Assets

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called on Switzerland to seize sanctioned Russian assets that are frozen in Swiss bank vaults.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called on Switzerland to seize sanctioned Russian assets that are frozen in Swiss bank vaults.

Morawiecki made this demand during a visit by Swiss President Ignazio Cassis on Monday, March 21. “The assets of the Russian oligarchs in Switzerland must be confiscated. I call on the president to ensure that Switzerland addresses this issue decisively,” Morawiecki told a news conference after talks between the leaders of the two countries.

Last week, Switzerland announced the adoption of a fourth package of sanctions from the European Union, which now extend to hundreds of people and dozens of companies. The measures may prevent assets from being transferred or sold, but stop short of removing property rights.

Cassis responded cautiously to Morawiecki’s demand. “[The sanctioned Russians] cannot dispose of their assets. If they own companies in Switzerland, in the raw materials sector or elsewhere, these companies are also covered by the measures,” said Cassis. “There have already been bankruptcies.”

Earlier this month, the Swiss-based company Nord Stream 2, in charge of the Russia-Germany gas pipeline project, laid off all of its staff in Zug after sanctions were imposed.

Cassis traveled to Poland to discuss European security policy, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the resulting humanitarian crisis. Some 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine, with more than half of the refugees arriving in Poland.

Millions of refugees

Switzerland has earmarked a quarter of its 80 million franc ($86 million) humanitarian aid package to help people who have fled war. On Friday, March 18, the Swiss Government announced that it had sent more than 500 tons of relief supplies to the region, as well as a team of experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit to Poland and Moldova.

The Swiss delegation visited the transfer point for Swiss humanitarian aid supplies in Lublin and spoke with Swiss experts and NGOs working in Poland.

Around 12 million people need humanitarian assistance due to the war, both in Ukraine and in other countries that have accepted refugees, the Swiss government estimated on Friday.

On Tuesday, Cassis will travel to Moldova to meet President Maia Sandu to discuss how Switzerland can help the country cope with the influx of refugees.

Switzerland has received more than 11,000 Ukrainian refugees, of whom 4,106 were placed in private homes. The authorities are asking more people to receive refugees to ease the burden of municipal accommodation.

The government has created a special asylum unit, comprising various ministries, the police, customs and the army, to strategize and coordinate the extraordinary situation of the refugees.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.