Switzerland aligns with EU-Venezuela sanctions

Switzerland1.jpgYesterday, the Swiss Federal Council adopted sanctions against Venezuela in order to align itself with recent EU measures (see previous blogs here and here). As a result, an arms and repressive goods embargo have been adopted, as well as targeted measures (asset freezes and travel restrictions) against 7 Venezuelan ministers/high-ranking officials. Swiss press release here.

Switzerland mirrors EU sanctions on 14 associates of DRC President Kabila

Switzerland has joined the EU in imposing asset freezes and travel bans on 14 associates of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s president Joseph Kabila. They were added to the EU’s sanctions over the course of 2016 and 2017.

President Kabila was due to stand down as President at the end of 2016, under a constitutional two-term limit. However, he has remained in power amidst growing concerns about human rights abuses against the civilian population. The newly listed people include incumbent and former ministers, provincial governors, and high-ranking members of the Congolese armed forces. They are accused of hindering the conduct of elections through acts of violence and repression, violating the rule of law, and committing serious human rights abuses.

The Swiss government’s press release is here.

World Chess Federation’s Swiss accounts frozen over US Syria sanctions

Chess.jpgThe World Chess Federation has announced that its Swiss UBS bank accounts have been closed after its president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, had sanctions imposed by OFAC on 25 November 2015, pursuant to Executive Order 13582, for “materially assisting and acting for or on behalf of” previously designated entities and individuals, including the Government of Syria and the Central Bank of Syria (links for Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s  SDN entry and the Treasury press release).

Switzerland adopts UN sanctions against Mali

Switzerland1The Swiss Federal Council has transposed into Swiss law the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2374 (2017), which orders the freezing of assets and a ban on travel for individuals or entities acting (directly or indirectly) to undermine the peace, security and stability of Mali. Click here for the Swiss press release.

Switzerland implements UN sanctions on N Korea

Switzerland1Switzerland has adopted a series of sanctions against DPRK, implementing UN Security Council Resolutions 2371 (2017) and 2375 (2017). Work permits will no longer be issued to citizens of DPRK and, in the financial sector, joint ventures and cooperative entities, both ongoing and new, with links to DPRK, have been prohibited. Financial transactions with DPRK have been prohibited, except those solely for the operation of diplomatic or consular missions or for humanitarian activities. The ban on trade goods has been extended. The handling of goods bound for or coming from DPRK, or from ship to ship with a DPRK vessel, has been prohibited. For the Swiss press release, click here.

EU calls for further Swiss cooperation on sanctions

swissThe EU Council has published its conclusions on EU relations with Switzerland, in which it notes Switzerland’s voluntary alignment to EU sanctions on a case-by-case basis.  It encourages Switzerland to remain consistent in the application of sanctions, including in preventing their circumvention, and invites Switzerland to align itself further with EU sanctions on Russia over its involvement in the crisis in Ukraine.

The EU’s press release is here.

Switzerland mirrors EU & US sanctions on Crimean parliamentarians

switzerland-flag-1Switzerland has followed the EU (blog here) and US (blog here) in imposing sanctions on 6 Russian parliamentarians elected to represent the annexed Crimea region of Ukraine in September.  Neither the EU nor US recognise the legitimacy of the elections.

EU & Switzerland sanction Joseph Kony

The EU & Switzerland have joined the US in implementing the recent UN designations of Joseph Kony and his group the Lord’s Resistance Army (see previous blog).  Under Kony’s leadership, the LRA is said to have been involved in the abduction and mutilation of thousands of civilians across central Africa, illicit trade in natural resources, sexual violence, murder, slavery, and the recruitment of child soldiers since the group was founded in 1987.

The EU designations are made by Implementing Regulation 2016/354 implementing Regulation 224/2014 and Implementing Decision 2016/360 implementing Decision 2013/798/CFSP and its notice to Kony and the LRA is here.  Switzerland’s ordinance is here.