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Russia Nixes Plan For Switzerland To Represent Ukraine's Interests.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Swiss President Ignazio Cassis, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and chairman of the Ukrainian parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk attend the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano, Switzerland, on July 4.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Swiss President Ignazio Cassis, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and chairman of the Ukrainian parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk attend the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano, Switzerland, on July 4.

Moscow has rejected a plan by Kyiv to have Switzerland represent Ukraine's interests in Russia, saying it no longer considers Switzerland a neutral country.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechayev said on August 11 that Switzerland had applied to Moscow for permission to represent Ukraine’s interests and that Moscow had denied the request.

"We very clearly answered that Switzerland had unfortunately lost its status of a neutral state and could not act as an intermediary or a representative," Nechayev said. "Bern has joined illegal Western sanctions against Russia."
Nechayev added that Switzerland also could not represent Russia's interests in Ukraine. Ukraine broke off diplomatic relations with Russia shortly after Moscow’s unprovoked massive military invasion of the country on February 24. Kyiv on August 10 asked Switzerland to represent its interests in Russia, a move that Bern insisted requires Moscow’s assent. Switzerland has a long history of such arrangements, representing U.S. interests in Iran, Iranian interests in Saudi Arabia, Russian interests in Georgia, and Georgian interests in Russia, among others. Switzerland has joined nearly all the sanctions the European Union has imposed on Russia since its military intervention in Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and dpa

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