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Switzerland raises Ukraine concerns with Russia

Swiss State Secretary Livia Leu shakes hands with Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov
Swiss State Secretary Livia Leu met with Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov in Bern. © Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle

Switzerland has urged Russia to work towards a peaceful resolution to the ongoing tensions in Ukraine.

Russia has been locked into a diplomatic stand-off with western nations, led by the United States, for several weeks over its neighbouring country.

Some 100,000 Russian troops are positioned at the border with Ukraine, raising fears of an invasion. Russia blames western countries of interfering in the region by inviting Ukraine to join the NATO military alliance.

Two recent meetings between Russia and the US in Geneva have failed to break the impasse.

On Friday, Swiss State Secretary Livia Leu held scheduled talks with Russia’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov to discuss a variety of matters, including the Ukraine situation.

“Switzerland is concerned about the massing of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and believes that security in Europe can only be strengthened through dialogue,” read a foreign ministry statementExternal link on Friday.

Switzerland is pushing for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to play a leading role in defusing the volatile situation. Both Switzerland and Russia are members of OSCE.

The diplomats also discussed other contentious issues, including Russia’s banning of the human rights organisation Memorial International and the continued detention of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

The meeting on Friday covered a range of trade, finance, customs, energy, science, research, security policy, foreign policy and human rights subjects.

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