Direct democracy Switzerland: How To
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Foreign trade

Switzerland adopts stricter measures on Russia

To prevent Russia from skirting international sanctions via Switzerland, the Swiss government has taken additional steps to reflect sanctions imposed by the EU in connection to the Ukraine crisis.

Taking effect on Wednesday, the new measures strengthen the ordinance that Switzerland adopted in April. The policies – outlined in detail in a statement – affect the finance sector and items requiring an export licence, in particular military supplies and dual-use goods that could be used for civilian as well as military purposes. There is also a ban on imports of such goods from Russia and Ukraine. Another embargo applies to the import and export of key goods used to extract oil and gas.

In addition, the cabinet “acknowledged the measures taken by Russia in respect of agricultural goods” and stressed that “Switzerland is not engaged in any state measures to promote additional Swiss exports to Russia”.

The cabinet said it  would continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine closely, reserving “the right to take further measures depending on how the situation develops”.

Up to now it has insisted on maintaining its neutrality and – as a non-EU country – decided not to implement the same sanctions on Russia as the EU. Switzerland holds this year’s chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) in Europe, and in this role acts as a mediator in the talks between Russia and Ukraine.

Both Russia and EU members have criticised Switzerland for not implementing the EU sanctions. Reports in the Russian media have said Switzerland was used to undermine the European sanctions, notably after Moscow abruptly closed access for EU food producers to the Russian market with its 140 million consumers.

The Izvestia newspaper has hinted that Switzerland, which is not targeted by Moscow’s punitive measures, serves as a backdoor to circumvent the sanctions.

On Thursday, the Russian foreign ministry reacted to the Swiss move with criticism.

"We regard these decisions taken by Bern as groundless and demonstrating that the Swiss side, to the detriment of its own interests, continues to follow the unfriendly steps by the United States and the European Union towards Russia," it said in a statement.


All rights reserved. The content of the website by is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.