Swiss president spells out economic consequences of Ukraine conflict

Swiss President Ignazio Cassis © Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

Switzerland’s president warns that the conflict in Ukraine will have long-term consequences on the Swiss economy. Ignazio Cassis, who also serves as foreign minister, once again defended the sanctions against Russia saying that Switzerland is ready to pay the price for the defense of freedom.

This content was published on March 19, 2022 - 11:45

In an article published Saturday in the newspapers Schweiz am Wochenende and Le Temps, Cassis outlined three "probable consequences" of the conflict on the economic level.

First, Switzerland's dependence on Russian gas and other raw materials weighs heavily from a geopolitical point of view and this will have an impact on Alpine nation's economy, Cassis noted. Secondly, the Swiss will have to deal with "significant and lasting inflation and increases in energy prices". Finally, the franc will remain a refuge currency, which will penalise exports.

Its "impossible to predict for how long and to what extent" Switzerland will be affected or which sectors will suffer the most, the Swiss president wrote.

"There is no solution that will magically protect Switzerland from the consequences of the current situation," added Cassis. However,  there are no indications of a real economic crisis "for the moment".

"On February 24, the face of the world has changed, and not for the better,” he wrote in reference to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We must defend freedom and democracy courageously and relentlessly. This comes at a price. A price that Switzerland is ready to pay.”

He adds that "this war is driven by a devastating madness that shatters all the principles and values of our civilization." This is the reason why the Swiss government adopted the European Union's sanctions against Russia in their entirety.  However, this decision does not call into question the country's neutrality, Cassis stressed. He noted that Switzerland does not support any belligerent militarily, neither by providing troops nor by sending weapons.

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