Switzerland banned imports of Russian gold and gold products on Wednesday, following similar moves by the European Union and the United States.
The Swiss government’s seven-member executive council, the Federal Council, said in a statement statement The gold ban is in line with the latest EU sanctions on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Switzerland “imposing the most urgent measures in time and substance”.
The committee added that it had frozen the assets of Russian state-owned bank Sberbank after imposing sanctions last month on dozens of individuals and organizations on the EU sanctions list.
“The Swiss list of sanctioned individuals and entities related to the situation in Ukraine is therefore fully aligned with the EU’s list,” the commission said.
Agricultural and oil supplies remain excluded from the sanctions, the statement said, attributing the decision to the global food and energy crisis.
The country is the market leader in gold refining, according to 2018 watch and jewelry industry data Report Provided by the World Wildlife Fund, 60 to 70 percent of the world’s gold is refined in Switzerland. Precious metals are common materials in Swiss luxury watches.
The European Union banned the import of newly minted and refined gold from Russia in July, following similar statements in June by the United States, Britain and other G7 countries.
Officials describe gold sanctions as another tactic to insulate Russia from the international financial system, and Ukraine’s allies have Ban most trade with Russia.