MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) – Switzerland should not join the EU sanctions policy in relation to Russia, as it will undermine its role as a mediator in the Ukrainian conflict, Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann told Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper Sunday.
“We make sure and this is crucial that Switzerland should not be used as a bypass. This must be beyond our politics. It is also especially important that there is a country that can say: We are not on anyone’s side,” Schneider-Ammann stressed in an interview.
He elaborated that this policy advocated by the European Union might undermine Switzerland’s international role in case it would join the measure.
“This role will be diminished if we support the EU sanctions,” the minister said.
Schneider-Ammann also noted that the restrictive measures imposed against Russia would affect Western companies and this would result in a domino effect, and as a result Switzerland’s economy would also suffer.
The Swiss minister said that his country offered its assistance to solve the Ukrainian conflict “step by step”.
Following the deadly crash of Malaysia Airlines MH17 over Ukraine, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions against Russia, which they believe to be responsible for the tragedy.
According to authorities in Kiev, as well as the West, the plane was shot down by weapons supposedly delivered to independence supporters by Russia.
Moscow has repeatedly denied these allegations saying it never interfered with the Ukrainian internal affairs and stressed that the sanctions policy was unacceptable and counterproductive.