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 Switzerland Adds Names and Organizations to Sanctions List to Prevent Bypassing European Sanctions against Russia

Switzerland on Tuesday added 26 Russians and Ukrainians and 18 organizations to a list designed to prevent it being used as a conduit to circumvent Western sanctions against Russia.

This latest move, which tracks the individuals and organizations on the European Union's sanctions list, raises the number of people affected to 87 and the number of organizations to 20. The measures will come into force at 19.00 on Tuesday, Censor.NET reports, citing Reuters.

Switzerland decided in March against imposing its own sanctions in response to the Ukraine crisis and its economy minister said last weekend the cabinet had no plans to change this policy.

Instead, it has taken measures to ensure it does not become a place for individuals or funds to bypass European sanctions.

Read also: Buildup Makes Russia Battle-Ready for Ukraine with Little or No Warning - The New York Times

Those named on the list are prohibited from entering into new business relationships with financial intermediaries in Switzerland. This is aimed at preventing assets held outside of the EU being transferred to Switzerland.

The new names include separatist leaders such as Alexander Boroday and Alexander Khodakovsky, top Russian security officials such as former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Nikolai Patrushev, and Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

Read also: U.S. State Department Calls Russia's Military Exercises Near the Ukrainian Border Provocative

Even though it has not imposed its own sanctions, some of the EU measures will apply in Switzerland because it is a member of the 28-nation bloc's passport-free Schengen zone.

Around 75 percent of Russian crude oil exports are traded through Geneva, according to the Swiss government, and Russian assets in Swiss banks stood at nearly 13.8 billion francs ($15.2 billion) in 2012, according to the Swiss National Bank.

 
 
 
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