Ilves Slams Swiss for Being Sanctions Holdout
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves says Switzerland, which refrained from joining most of the rest of Europe in applying punitive sanctions against Russia, has placed its own interests and banking sector ahead of European values.
"Switzerland will have to live with criticism that they have foregone establishing their own sanctions in order to gain a more favored situation in the banking sector," Ilves told the Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung, published Sunday.
In contrast, he said, Sweden and Ireland have affirmed neutrality yet supported sanctions.
"For me, the idea of neutrality is even more devoid of meaning than ever before," Ilves said.
Ilves would not say whether the EU planned to pressure Switzerland, uudised.err.ee reported. The Swiss currently are president of the OSCE; critics have seen the country as a haven and business center for wealthy Russians.