Swiss return seized funds to Turkmenistan

In 1993, Swiss finance minister Otto Stich (left) paid to four central Asian countries, including Turkmenistan, which form a voting bloc at the IMF and the World Bank. The archive picture shows Stich in Uzbekistan. Keystone/Str

Switzerland says it is repatriating $1.3 million (CHF1.26 million) in seized assets to Turkmenistan, money which will be used for the purchase of medicine. 

This content was published on January 15, 2020 - 16:49

The move is in line with its policy of repatriating illicitly acquired assets that were confiscated in Switzerland, according to a foreign ministry statement. 

An agreement signed on Wednesday foresees that the funds will be paid towards a health project run by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and will be used to purchase anti-tuberculosis drugs. 

“In cooperating on this project Turkmenistan and the UNDP aim to deliver effective, high-quality healthcare, ensuring that the poorest sections of Turkmen society have access to the health services they need,” the ministry said. 

It adds that the restitution of the funds will benefit the population of the central Asian country and builds on the principles of transparency and accountability. The restitution also makes a positive contribution to implementing the United Nations policy on sustainable development. 

Turkmenistan belongs to Switzerland's voting blocExternal link at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Global Environment Facility.

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