The G7 accused Switzerland of “loopholes” for Russian oligarchs

The G7 countries accuse Switzerland of not fighting sufficiently against sanctions-evading Russian oligarchs.

The Financial Times (FT) writes about dissatisfaction with the organization, citing a G7 letter sent to the Swiss government. It was signed by the G7 ambassadors in Bern, as well as the EU ambassador. The authenticity of the document was confirmed for publication by high-ranking diplomats from both G7 countries.

The document is dated April 5. Among other things, he thanks Bernie for his “significant” efforts to keep the country from becoming a “safe haven” for Russian money. At the same time, he notes that the country’s leadership needs to do “extra work” to ensure that the sanctions are respected.

The letter said Russian oligarchs had used Swiss privacy laws and other “loopholes” to hide billions of francs abroad.

In particular, the G7 ambassadors drew attention to the country’s law on the protection of dual nationals, legal residents, persons legally affiliated with Swiss organizations and persons with indirect beneficial ownership. Such “gaps” put Switzerland at risk of reputational damage, the G7 noted.

Switzerland supported the sanctions against Russia, but introduced them a few days later than the European Union. Total frozen in the country According to estimates, 7.5 billion Swiss francs belong to sanctioned Russians Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

However, the G7 casts doubt on this figure. “According to independent sources, the total number of detainees in Switzerland may be much higher,” the organization’s ambassadors wrote in the letter.

SECO called the G7’s allegations “baseless.” A representative of the center reminded in an interview with FT that Bern quickly introduced restrictions against Russia. According to him, the G7 ambassadors misunderstand the essence of Swiss law and emphasized that evasion of sanctions is subject to criminal liability.

The G7 countries have previously demanded that Switzerland actively block the money of Russian oligarchs. In March, the US ambassador to Switzerland, Scott Miller, called for an additional freeze of 50-100 billion Swiss francs belonging to Russian citizens. SECO chief Helen Budliger-Artieda, however, said there was a risk of property rights infringement.

In total, there may be 150 to 200 billion Swiss francs in Switzerland Russian assets, George Voloshin, a sanctions expert at the Association of Certified Money Laundering Professionals (ACAMS), told RBC.


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