Swiss President Ignazio Cassis said, “Switzerland is ready to become a mediator in resolving the Ukraine conflict and could organize talks between Kyiv and Moscow.”
“Switzerland combines neutrality with a humanitarian tradition,” Cassis said at a Saturday rally in Bern, as quoted by the Swiss RTS broadcaster. “It’s a small country with a strong commitment to freedom. It is ready to play the role of a mediator behind the scenes or host negotiations,” the Swiss president added.
According to RTS, Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Bern crowd via video link from Kyiv and thanked Switzerland for its solidarity with Ukraine. However, Zelenskyy critiqued the fact that Swiss businesses, such as Nestle, continue to operate in Russia.
In the early hours of February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against the Kyiv forces. Russia said that the aim of its special operation is to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine and that only military infrastructure is being targeted – the civilian population is not in danger. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.
In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow, which includes airspace closures and restrictive measures targeting numerous Russian officials and entities, media, and financial institutions.