Germany ups pressure on states to join sanctions

Wednesday 30 July 2014 18.21
Switzerland is an important hub for Russian banking and trading activities
Switzerland is an important hub for Russian banking and trading activities

Germany and the European Union are trying to convince several non-EU countries to join the bloc, and the United States, in imposing sanctions against Russia.

A spokeswoman at Berlin's Foreign Ministry said Germany was in talks with countries such as Switzerland and Turkey about imposing sanctions against Russia.

It comes a day after the EU and the United States announced further measures targeting Russia's energy, banking and defence sectors.
 
Germany, which had been among the more cautious countries about imposing sanctions against Russia, is now taking a leading role on pressing other countries to impose sanctions while the United States is lobbying Asian governments to join.

In Singapore, a senior US State Department official said the United States was lobbying Asian states, increasingly important for Russian trade, to join in the sanctions.

Switzerland, a popular destination for many rich Russians and an important hub for their banking and trading activities, has so far not imposed sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, although it has vowed not to serve as a route to bypass EU sanctions.
 
Around 75% of Russian crude oil exports are traded through Geneva, according to the Swiss government. 

Russian assets in Swiss banks stood at nearly 13.8 billion francs, around €11.3 billion, in 2012, according to the Swiss National Bank.