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MOSCOW, 8 March. /TASS/. Coordinator of the parliamentary friendship group Russia - Switzerland, first deputy chairman of the industry committee of the Stat Duma lower house of parliament Vladimir Gutenev on Saturday expressed regret over the expansion of Swiss sanctions against Russia.
"These steps are deplorable. In modern conditions, when transformation of international law has become a quite commonplace phenomenon, it appears that such principle as neutrality is also susceptible to transformation," he told TASS on Saturday.
According to Gutenev, the very fact that Switzerland has joined the illegitimate from the point of view of international law sanctions, "says that living in the modern world, official Bern is unable to pursue a completely independent and neutral policy and must take into account the interests of its major international partners."
Gutenev also said that Switzerland, extending sanctions, has also to bear the inevitable reputational costs. "The biggest advantage of Switzerland is its economic reliability. And such steps only undermine confidence [in Switzerland] of not only Russian businesses, but also other major financial institutions," said the lawmaker.
On Friday, the website of the government of Switzerland reported that the country expanded sanctions against Russia, closing its territory to 28 individuals and entities from the EU "black list" and, in particular, prohibiting Swiss entrepreneurs to have business contacts with them. The Federal Council decided to expand measures to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions, the statement says.
According to the decision, in addition to the EU sanctions of August 27, 2014, Switzerland has introduced trade restrictions against Crimea and Sevastopol, adopted by the European Union in December 2014. Any investment activity in the region is prohibited, says the decision. This applies to investment, tourism and a number of other sectors of the economy.
"In view of the situation in Ukraine, and following decisions taken by the EU, the Federal Council today decided to extend its measures to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions. It added the measures decreed by the EU last December following non-recognition of the annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol to the ordinance on international sanctions of 27 August 2014. The Federal Council also added to Annex 3 of the ordinance the names of 28 further persons and entities who have had financial and travel restrictions imposed on them in the EU. The amended ordinance with supplemented annexes comes into effect at 6 pm," Friday, says the decision.