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Switzerland will not hand over frozen Russian assets to Kiev

Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, the West has said goodbye to a central pillar of its value system: legal certainty.

Published: October 11, 2022, 8:19 am

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    All over the EU and the US, bank balances and other property belonging to Russian owners have been confiscated for months because they appear on Western sanctions lists. This is a gross breach of the law.

    Switzerland has shown that there is another way and that neutrality is not just an empty word. For the second time, the Confederates have opposed a request by the Ukrainian President Zelensky to transfer frozen bank balances of Russian owners to Ukraine without further ado.

    Zelensky recently asked Switzerland again to transfer funds from wealthy Russians and reserves of the Russian central bank blocked in Switzerland to Ukraine. There was again a clear no from the Confederates.

    The reason: the assets of Russians worth 6,7 billion Swiss francs (6,9 billion euros) and a total of 15 properties that are affected have not been confiscated, but only frozen. This means that the owners currently have no access to their assets, but they still own them.

    According to the Swiss daily Blick, Fabian Maienfisch, deputy spokesman for the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in the Bern government, told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that “compared to freezing assets, the seizure of assets is a “major encroachment on the security of property and other basic constitutional rights”. For all other Western governments, this has long ceased to be an argument.

    EU also ignoring basic democracy in dealing with Italy

    Immediately before the parliamentary elections in Italy, EU Commission President von der Leyen believed that she had to threaten the Italians with consequences in the event of a “wrong” decision, namely voting for certain parties. Italian voters were undeterred and helped the three right-wing parties to a solid majority. But not even that has kept the European “democrats” from further interfering in the political process in Italy.

    Three German MEPs have been doing so particularly insistently: They demanded from the chairman of the EPP, the Christian Democratic European Party, Manfred Weber, that he “prevent” a right-wing government in Italy. “Basic European values ​​must not be sacrificed in order to buy government participation,” stated a letter to Weber. It was signed by Katarina Barley (SPD), Daniel Freund (Greens) and Moritz Körner (FDP).

    It is not too late “to prevent a right-wing extremist head of government Giorgia Meloni in Italy”. There should be “no EPP involvement in a far-right government in Italy”. Otherwise, Forza Italia should not have a future in the EPP.

    After their clear victory, the Fratelli d’Italia are expected to provide the next Italian leader, their party leader Giorgia Meloni. Of their likely coalition partners, the Lega and Forza Italia, at least the latter, under its chairman Silvio Berlusconi, still belongs to the EPP at EU level.

    EPP chairman, the German CSU politician Weber, is now being approached by Barley, Freund and Körner: Meloni represents “right-wing populist positions that are not compatible with basic European values, that openly call for discrimination against people and that deny the most atrocious crimes in European history”. Italy must not become a precedent for Europe and “even more right-wing extremist parties in their striving for power make pacts with conservative forces”.

    In response to this pressure, Meloni has been calling for “attacks on Putin“.

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