Switzerland Pledges $2B to Ukraine Under Global Pressure

Switzerland says it will spend about $2 billion on humanitarian and development aid to Ukraine over the next six years, as Western critics press Bern to do more to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian invaders and squeeze Russian interests.

The Swiss government confirmed Friday comments from Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Washington this week that the Swiss government will provide 1.8 billion Swiss francs (about $2 billion) through 2028, an increase of 1.5 billion over the 300 million already set aside for this year and next.

A total of 650 million Swiss francs has been set aside to assist Ukraine in rebuilding. The Swiss have established themselves as one of the leading countries anticipating Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts, hosting an international conference on the subject in July in the southern city of Lugano.

Other Western countries, however, have pressed Switzerland to do more on other fronts: several European Union member countries have expressed disappointment that Bern has not authorized them to send Swiss-made weaponry and other military equipment purchased in Switzerland to Ukraine.

The Swiss argue that their constitutionally mandated neutrality prevents them from not only sending weapons to combatants in active war zones like Ukraine, but also from allowing other countries to ship Swiss-made military equipment to opposing forces.

Meanwhile, the Swiss trade daily Handelszeitung first reported this month that the so-called Group of Seven countries — the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States — had sent a letter to Swiss authorities asking for more action to strengthen international sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Swiss Bankers Association, Russians have assets in Swiss banks worth 150-200 billion Swiss francs. The Department of Economic Affairs in Switzerland,

In recent comments to Swiss media, US Ambassador in Bern Scott Miller stated that an additional 50 billion to 100 billion francs could be subject to a freeze in Switzerland.

The Swiss government has stated that it has supported and joined a series of economic sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russians and Russian interests, despite the fact that Switzerland is not one of its 27 member countries.

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