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Sanctions against Russia – Wexelberg’s boat and plane banned in the United States – News

Sanctions against Russia – Wexelberg’s boat and plane banned in the United States – News


The United States is tightening sanctions against Russian-Ukrainian oligarchy leader Viktor Wexelberg. SRF Business Editor Klaus Bonanomy knows its meaning from a Swiss perspective.

Why? As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States has added many more to its embargo and tightened sanctions on others. Victor Wexelberg, a Russian-Ukrainian oligarch who operates in Switzerland, is also a victim. It has been on the U.S. sanctions list since 2018, for example, and can no longer enter the United States. Washington has now blocked a $ 180 million aircraft and boat owned by Wexelberg.

Why the sanctions against Wexelberg? The chairman of the oligarchy, Victor Wexelberg, is considered a close confidante of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has trade relations with authorized Russian companies and state-owned enterprises. Like other Russian oligarchs, Wexelberg has not yet commented critically on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That, too, must play a role in why the United States has tightened sanctions against him.

How is Wexelberg investing in Switzerland? Unlike other oligarchy, Wexelberg is an entrepreneur from around the world, including Switzerland. This includes Sulzer, OC Oerlikon (41 per cent), Swiss Steel (25 per cent) and 49 per cent stake in substantial group Z├╝blin. Wexelberg had to halve its stake in Sulzer in 2018, when the United States added it to the sanctions list for the first time.

Are Swiss sanctions threatening Wexelberg? So far, Switzerland has adhered to the list of EU sanctions. But Bern can also take action against oligarchs living in Zug – as the United States, Switzerland’s main trading partner, has done. This is what the current Swiss Prohibition Act provides. It is possible to restrict travel restrictions or Wexelberg’s assets. Then he can not sell them, and his entrepreneurial freedom will be strictly restricted.

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How does Bern behave? The Federal Council should take any action against Wexelberg. And the state government cannot help but consider this. Because Bern is under international surveillance. For example, at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Washington put pressure behind the scenes, asking Pundestock to accept sanctions – something Switzerland actually did a few days later.