Switzerland adds 15 names to Ukraine crisis blacklist

2nd May 2014, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland announced Friday that it had added the names of 15 top Russian officials and pro-Moscow separatists to a blacklist of individuals seen as prime movers in the Ukraine crisis.

The move by Switzerland, which is not a member of the European Union, matched the sanctions imposed against the same individuals by Brussels on Monday.

It brought the total number of people on the Swiss list -- a carbon copy of the EU's -- to 48.

Some of the individuals have also been targeted by the United States.

While neither the Swiss, EU or US sanctions impact Russian President Vladimir Putin directly, they do cover senior officials considered responsible for stoking the Ukraine crisis and other members of the Kremlin strongman's inner circle.

Among the new names on the list was the chief of Russia's general staff, Valery Gerasimov.

A Swiss government statement said that he was "responsible for the massive deployment of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine and the lack of de-escalation of the situation".

Others included the director of Russia's GRU military intelligence arm Sergun Dmitrievich, responsible for his service's operations in strife-torn eastern Ukraine.

Russia's Ukraine-born deputy prime minister, Dmitry Kozak, formerly Moscow's point-man for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, was also on the list.

He now leads efforts to develop the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in March after a controversial referendum.

Also among the new names were some local pro-Russian militants who have led revolts against the Ukrainian government.

They included the leaders of the separatist "Army of the South-East", the "Lugansk Guard", the "People's Militia of Donbas" and the "Donetsk People's Republic".

"Financial intermediaries based in Switzerland may no longer enter into new business relationships with the individuals named," the Swiss government said.

"This is intended to ensure that the named individuals do not transfer assets to Switzerland," it added.

Existing business relationships involving the individuals are not subject to the ban, but must be notified to the Federal Council, Switzerland's cabinet.

"By invoking an obligation to notify the Federal Council aims to gain an overview of the business relationships that the persons concerned have in Switzerland and of the assets they hold here, so as to be able to decide on further measures if necessary," the government said.


© 2014 AFP

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