Swiss ban Russian diamond imports, joining latest EU sanctions

Swiss ban Russian diamond imports, joining latest EU sanctions

ZURICH (Reuters): Switzerland will ban the import of Russian diamonds in line with the latest round of European Union sanctions designed to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, the government said on Wednesday.

Bern has agreed to adopt the 12th round of sanctions implemented by the EU in December, with measures effective from Feb. 1, as it has with all previous rounds since the start of the war almost two years ago.

Among those measures is a phased ban on the purchase and import of Russian diamonds.

“Switzerland thus joins the measures agreed at the G7 summit on 6 December 2023 to deprive Russia of this important revenue stream,” the government said in a statement.

Import bans are also being introduced on other goods that generate revenue for Russia, including pig iron and liquid petroleum gas.

Switzerland said it was expanding its list of banned exports which could be used to strengthen Russia’ military and technology sectors. Exports of lithium batteries, motors for unmanned aerial vehicles, and machine tools and parts have also been added.

In the financial sector, Russian nationals and individuals living in Russia will be banned from controlling companies in Switzerland that provide crypto-asset services.

Switzerland has also placed an additional 147 individuals and companies under sanctions, taking the total to 1,422 individuals and 291 organisations.