Erwin Bollinger, a spokesman for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, said that the country’s authorities had withdrawn $3.4 billion of Russian assets that had previously been frozen as a preventive measure from restrictions, Reuters reports.
“We cannot freeze funds if we do not have sufficient grounds. Funds must be released unless there is evidence that the assets are directly owned or controlled by the person under sanctions,” he said.
It is noted that the volume of Russian assets currently frozen by Switzerland is about $6.3 billion.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the initiative of the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell to transfer blocked Russian assets to the Ukrainian authorities “theft”. “Theft, which they don’t even try to hide,” RIA Novosti quotes him as saying.
During a press conference following his visit to Algeria, Sergei Lavrov said that the European Union is under the influence of the United States and “practically does not have its own foreign policy.” Therefore, the minister did not rule out, soon “the position of the chief diplomat of the European Union will be liquidated.”
Recall that earlier Josep Borrell advocated the idea of withdrawing Russia’s frozen reserves in favor of Ukraine.
Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Alexander Grushko, in turn, called the proposal of the head of European diplomacy on the transfer of Russian reserves for the restoration of Ukraine “lawlessness”. Grushko said that this EU initiative undermines confidence in Europe.