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“Private business which can assess risks quite well already understands that its assets and financial interests cannot be protected properly in those countries which despite their neutrality pursue such a biased policy,” the deputy told reporters.
He recalled that amid previous sanctions between Russia and the European Union Swiss food producers, particularly cheese makers, successfully took advantage of the opportunity to increase supplies on Russian market and intensified quite strongly their activity. “In this regard, the question arises from paraphrased well-known set phrase - for how long can Swiss cheese keep rolling in Russian butter?” Gutenev said.
The politician said he hoped that under pressure of sound pragmatism of Swiss business and several political, including parliamentary forces which protect the right for national sovereignty and national policy “decisions on sanctions imposed on Russia will be changed.” “Otherwise, not only Swiss cheese will stop rolling in butter, but also several major companies representing Russian business interests in Switzerland will just have to change their place of registration after specific changes in Russian legislation,” Gutenev said with confidence.
On Wednesday, Switzerland joined latest EU sanctions on Russia over the situation in Ukraine.
Russian officials and companies came under the first batch of Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March after a coup in Ukraine in February.
The West announced new sectoral penalties against Russia in late July over Moscow’s position on Ukrainian events, in particular, what the West claimed was Russia’s alleged involvement in hostilities in Ukraine’s embattled east.
In response, Russia imposed on August 6 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway.
The European Union and the United States imposed the latest batch of sectoral sanctions against Russia on September 12 despite the deal on a ceasefire, signed in Minsk a week before, between Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR) in the embattled southeast of Ukraine.
The new US sanctions list includes Sberbank, Bank of Moscow, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, Vnesheconombank, and VTB. Now they cannot borrow for a period of more than 30 days. The US has also blocked the assets of five defense enterprises and banned the export of goods, services and technologies for projects carried out by Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz and Rosneft.