Statement from Swiss Solidarity, a socialist organization.
A few days after Moscow recognized the independence of Ukrainian separatist territories in Donbass, Vladimir Putin’s army launched a massive attack on Ukraine on February 24, with airstrikes and ground invasion. A few hours after the start of this military offensive, there were already several dozen dead with fighting close to all major Ukrainian cities and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The Russian military offensive comes eight years after Moscow annexed Crimea and backed separatists’ takeover of areas of Donbass, sparking a conflict that has left more than 14,000 dead and 2 million refugees. In this context, the solidarity movement condemns the Russian imperialist military aggression and calls for an end to the bombing and withdrawal of Russian troops from the occupied Ukrainian territories, and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine. We affirm our solidarity with the civilian populations attacked.
At this very moment, Europe is very close to a generalized and deadly war that can affect the peace and security of all its nations. Putin is openly engaging in nuclear blackmail. The Federal Council denounces, condemns, regrets and offers its good offices. However, it does not take direct sanctions, the freezing of accounts is not on its agenda. But by the way, why is Switzerland squirming ? One third of the funds held by Russian companies and individuals abroad are located in Switzerland. 98% of Russian managers surveyed said their clients cited Switzerland as the country of choice to keep their money safe. Some 80% of Russian raw materials are sold from Switzerland. Three quarters of Russian oil would be sold in Geneva.
Switzerland plays a central role in the sale of raw materials and the management of Russian assets. It is also Switzerland that can prevent the catastrophe from happening. The question of whether the lives of thousands of Ukrainians, as well as the maintenance of peace in Europe, are worth such a sacrifice. This is an ethical question rather than a financial question, which the Federal Council must ask itself. It is time for her to assume her responsibilities.
We call on the Federal Council to take political sanctions against the Russian government, which is directly responsible for this war. We call for targeted economic sanctions, as severe as possible, against Russian oligarchs who use Switzerland’s financial services to protect their fortunes. The Federal Council must freeze the funds of the latter present in the banks in Switzerland. The Swiss authorities should also abolish the tax privileges granted to oligarchs close to the Putin regime.
We also call on the Federal Council to welcome with dignity those threatened by the Russian military offensive and to provide humanitarian aid to the displaced populations.
We support the progressive forces fighting for democracy and social justice in Ukraine, building international solidarity from below against the invasion of the Russian military. We also affirm our solidarity with the organizations and personalities that are mobilizing in Russia against the war.
We support the right to self-determination of the Ukrainian people and the protection of the rights of the country’s national minorities. Neither Russia nor NATO will defend these rights. We call for the dismantling of all military bases outside their home countries, the liquidation of the US-led NATO and the Russian-led CSTO.
These extremely serious events remind us more than ever of the need to build an internationalist mobilization to give peoples a voice different from those of states and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people against all policies that attack and oppress them. Governments will not initiate this march towards peace. We have to organize it ourselves.
No to Russia’s imperialist aggression against Ukraine!
DEMONSTRATE – NO TO WAR AND YES TO PEACE
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 11:30 NATIONS PLAZA