GENEVA, August 10. /TASS/. At the request of Ukraine Switzerland is ready to represent its diplomatic interests in Russia, if Moscow agrees to this, Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Pierre-Alain Eltschinger told TASS on Wednesday.
The point at issue is the "mandate of a protecting power", which would enable Switzerland to represent Ukraine’s diplomatic interests in Russia, because there are no diplomatic relations between them now.
As Eltschinger explained, "Switzerland has actively offered its good offices to both sides." These include, in particular, "the role of a host for negotiations and meetings", as well as support and expertise for "possible negotiations."
"Ukraine would like Switzerland to assume the mandate of a protecting power in Russia. The relevant negotiations have been completed," he said.
"For the mandate of a protecting power to take effect Russia is to give its consent," Eltschinger explained.
The Russian embassy’s opinion
The Russian embassy in Switzerland, when asked on Wednesday for a comment on Bern’s readiness to represent Kiev’s interests in Moscow, told TASS: "As far as the embassy knows, the Russian side has no contacts with the official authorities of the Confederation on this issue."
"As Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier, Russia is not ready to consider proposals for mediation in talks with Ukraine from countries that have joined the anti-Russian sanctions," the embassy’s press service stressed. "We believe that Swiss neutrality has been devalued to a certain extent, since the Confederation adopted all of the European Union’s seven packages of illegitimate anti-Russian restrictions, in fact taking the side of one of the parties to the conflict."
The Russian embassy recalled that the Russian government on March 5, 2022 put Switzerland on a list of unfriendly countries alongside the EU member states and some other countries."
"In this context, from our point of view, it is difficult to talk about Bern’s mediation on the Ukrainian track," the embassy’s press service stressed.