WORLD – SWITZERLAND
The Swiss government said on Wednesday that confiscating private Russian assets to help rebuild Ukraine after the war was contrary to Swiss law.
Four days after Russia invaded Ukraine, traditionally neutral Switzerland joined the European Union’s decision to impose sanctions against Moscow. The Alpine state has since frozen billions of euros worth of Russian assets.
Faced with international proposals to confiscate these assets and use the money to rebuild Ukraine, the Swiss Federal Council asked a working group of the Department of Justice to examine the legality of such a move.
The group concluded that expropriation of private property of legal origin without compensation is not allowed under Swiss law.
“The confiscation of frozen private assets is incompatible with the federal constitution and the existing legal order and violates Switzerland’s international obligations,” the statement said.
The government said it had taken note of the opinion and also stressed that “assistance to Ukraine will continue regardless of the debate on frozen assets”.