Russia says Swiss ‘no longer neutral’, can’t act as go-between with Ukraine

The Swiss national flag flies behind a sign on the Bundesplatz square in Bern, Switzerland on May 2, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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  • The material was produced in Russia, where law prohibits coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

MOSCOW, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Russia said on Thursday it had rejected a Swiss offer to have Switzerland represent Ukrainian interests in Russia and Moscow’s interests in Ukraine because it does not consider Switzerland a neutral country.

Switzerland has a long diplomatic tradition of acting as a mediator between countries with severed ties, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechayev said this was not possible under the current circumstances.

“The Swiss are really interested in our opinion about the possible representation of Ukraine’s interests in Russia and Russia’s interests in Ukraine,” Nechayev told reporters.

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“We answered very clearly that Switzerland has unfortunately lost the status of a neutral state and cannot act as a mediator or representative. Bern has joined the illegal Western sanctions against Russia.”

Neutral Switzerland has mirrored almost all sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine.

Swiss media previously reported that the main objective of the Swiss proposal is to allow Ukrainians living in Russia to receive consular services from the Swiss embassy in Moscow.

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Reported by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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