President of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy following the negotiations with Viola Amherd in Bern: Ukraine has friends who are helping, and Switzerland is among them

15 January 2024 - 20:42

Volodymyr Zelenskyy following the negotiations with Viola Amherd in Bern: Ukraine has friends who are helping, and Switzerland is among them

During a working visit to Switzerland, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held talks with President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd.

The Head of State thanked Switzerland for its concern for the Ukrainian people and assistance in safeguarding lives.

"For you, being neutral does not mean ignoring reality. And you are morally truthful. You honestly assess what is happening in Europe and help us to safeguard lives. I am grateful for your principled political support of Ukraine from the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion. I thank you for joining the European sanctions packages. And, of course, for our joint work on the implementation of the Peace Formula," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, addressing Viola Amherd during a meeting with media representatives following the talks in Bern.

He emphasized that Switzerland's position is always of global importance and expressed gratitude for helping to promote justice and restore a fair peace.

The President of Ukraine also praised the humanitarian and financial assistance provided by Switzerland, assistance in reconstruction, political and sanctions support. According to him, a new program of long-term support was also discussed today.

"The urgent issue is the future of Russian assets that have been frozen in various jurisdictions around the world. The world majority agrees that Russian aggression is an unprovoked and criminal war that violates the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and literally every fundamental rule of international law... Using the assets of Russia and its affiliated persons to protect against Russian aggression is not only effective as a punishment for the aggressor, but also quite fair. The one who unleashed this war must pay the highest price for it," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.

During the talks in Bern, considerable attention was paid to the issue of justice and, in particular, Switzerland's involvement in the creation of a Special Tribunal for the Crime of Russian Aggression against Ukraine, which will ensure full accountability of Russian war criminals, as well as the political and military leadership of Russia.

The President of Ukraine thanked Switzerland for its work on demining. According to him, during the meeting, they discussed holding two conferences on demining in the spring and fall of this year.

"Today, 174,000 square kilometers of our territory are contaminated with Russian mines and unexploded ordnance. And it would be very difficult for any country in the world to cope with this task alone. Fortunately, Ukraine has friends who are helping. Switzerland is among them," the Head of State said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also emphasized the importance of continuing joint work on sanctions pressure on Russia, which must be effective. According to him, Ukraine counts on Switzerland's support in global efforts to block all schemes to circumvent sanctions.

"I invite Switzerland to work as actively as possible with all partners and the international sanctions group to put pressure on Russia to block its terrorist potential. Together we save lives," the President of Ukraine noted.

Viola Amherd, for her part, drew attention to the fact that today's meeting in Bern was the third bilateral meeting between the Presidents of Ukraine and Switzerland in the last three years, which demonstrates the strengthening and deepening of bilateral relations.

She noted that Switzerland pays great attention to the issue of rebuilding Ukraine, which is of strategic importance for the stability of the whole of Europe.

"The political compass for reconstruction is the Lugano Principles, laid down at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in July 2022," she said.

According to the President of the Swiss Confederation, Switzerland has planned to allocate CHF 1.5 billion in support of Ukraine for the period 2025-2028.

Viola Amherd noted that one of the key elements in the recovery of Ukraine is demining. Humanitarian demining is a prerequisite for displaced persons to return to their homes and for agricultural land to be cultivated again.

"If such a large exporting country as Ukraine harvests less, it will have global negative consequences," the Swiss President emphasized.

That is why, according to her, a conference on humanitarian demining will be held in Geneva in October 2024.

Viola Amherd also reminded that her country has joined the Register of Damage for Ukraine, initiated by the Council of Europe, and is part of a group of states working on the establishment of a Special International Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine.

"The ties between our countries are longstanding. I thank you for your visit to Switzerland and look forward to further cooperation between our countries," the President of the Swiss Confederation summarized.