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Swiss politician says Bern should refrain from sanctions on Russia

March 23, 2014, 17:49 UTC+3 GENEVA
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GENEVA, March 23, 17:34 /ITAR-TASS/. President of the Swish Social Democratic Party Christian Levrat is confident Bern should refrain from imposing sanctions against Russia as a response to its re-unification with Crimea. This step would sharply narrow mediation opportunities of the Swiss Confederation, Levrat said in an interview with the Swish German-language daily Neue Z·rcher Zeitung that was published on Sunday.

“Switzerland’s role differs from the roles of the European Union and the Unites States,” he said. “Switzerland comes forward as a mediator which implies that it should refrain from joining the sanctions of other countries though their reaction is quite understandable.”

Switzerland chairs the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe /OSCE/ this year, the politician said dubbing it the world’s most neutral organisation and an ideal platform for settling disputes between the East and the West.

“We are not speaking about economic interests but about our contribution to peace and stability within the OSCE framework,” Levrat said.

Earlier this week, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said it had taken into consideration Brussels’ and Washington’s sanctions against Russia and was scrutinizing them.

At the same time, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter said Bern would not automatically copy European and U.S. steps on imposing the sanctions.

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