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Switzerland freezes Russian assets worth $6.2 billion

Switzerland has frozen the equivalent of 5.75 billion Swiss francs ($6.2 billion) in Russian assets since the invasion of Ukraine, a senior economy ministry official said on Thursday.

The sum, amounting to 5.6 billion euros, includes funds and assets such as property in tourist regions of Switzerland, said the official, Erwin Bollinger of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

Switzerland on February 28 aligned itself with European Union sanctions despite its traditional neutrality. Banks have since been required to report persons, companies or entities targeted by sanctions to the Economy Ministry.

The funds have been frozen but not confiscated and remain the property of the person concerned as there is no legal basis to allow confiscation in Switzerland, Bollinger added, according to a report by the Swiss agency ATS.

Switzerland is hugely popular with wealthy Russians, including the chic ski resort of Saint Moritz famed for its luxurious chalets.