Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday urged Switzerland to crack down on billionaires close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he said were helping fight his country from safe “beautiful Swiss cities.”
In an audio link addressed to thousands of people who took part in an anti-war protest in Bern, Ukraine’s president thanked Switzerland for its support since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of his country, but also had a clear message about Swiss financial situation. sector.
Through an interpreter, he said: “Your banks are where the money of the people who started this war is. It hurt. Freezing your accounts is also a war against evil. It will be a war too and you can do that.”
“Ukrainians get frustrated when cities are destroyed. Their cities are destroyed on the orders of people who live in Europe in beautiful Swiss villages… who enjoy property in their cities. It would be very nice to strip them of this privilege.” he added he.
Neutral Switzerland, which is not a member of the European Union, has fully embraced EU sanctions against Russian individuals and entities, including freezing their assets in Swiss banks.
The government did not provide a figure regarding the amount of wealth covered by the freeze. The country’s Financial Industry Federation estimates that Switzerland’s underground banks hold as much as $213 billion of Russia’s total wealth.
The Ukrainian president also criticized Swiss-based companies that continue to operate in Russia.