The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reached an agreement in principle with Switzerland on the representation of Ukrainian interests in the territory of the Russian Federation. A relevant announcement was made by Oleh Nikolenko, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
“The choice in favour of Switzerland was made because of its extensive experience in performing such functions, and we are grateful to the Swiss government for its willingness to provide its good services. The modalities of Switzerland’s representation of Ukraine’s interests in the Russian Federation will be determined by a bilateral agreement,” the MFA’s spokesperson noted.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes every effort to protect the interests of Ukrainian citizens in Russia, he added.
“Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who were illegally deported from Ukrainian towns and villages temporarily captured by the Russian army, including children, need help. Many of our citizens ended up in Russian territory without documents,” Nikolenko said.
He noted that there were no Ukrainian diplomatic missions in the territory of the Russian Federation.
Michael Steiner, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, confirmed that his country had assumed a protecting power mandate for Ukraine in Russia.
“The corresponding negotiations have been completed. In order for the protecting power mandate to come into force, Russia still has to give its consent,” he said.
At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia stated that Moscow did not have any contacts with the official authorities of Switzerland regarding Bern’s possible representation of Ukraine’s interests in the Russian Federation.
The Kremlin sees Switzerland’s neutrality as “somewhat devalued” as Bern joined all seven European Union sanctions packages against Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also stated that Switzerland “was included in the list of unfriendly countries along with EU member states and some other countries” by order of the Russian government.
As a reminder, Switzerland represents US interests in Iran, Iran’s interests in Canada, Russia’s interests in Georgia and vice-versa, and Iran’s interests in Saudi Arabia and vice-versa.