|  NEWS

The majority of Switzerland’s population would support tougher sanctions against Russia, even if they lead to increased energy costs in Switzerland, according to a survey.

The poll published on Monday by the Institute Link revealed that 57% of those surveyed would be in favour of freezing all assets held in the country by government allies and high-ranking Russian officials.

In addition, the findings showed that those questioned would also back the move to remove Russian banks from Swiss financial markets and de-link high-tech products and software exported to Russia, Swiss Info reports.

Up to now, Switzerland has introduced a number of sanctions against Russia to come in line with those of the EU, impacting hundreds of people and businesses, and also specific sectors.

The survey results show the strategy implemented by the Swiss government has the public’s support. Around 65% of people stated Switzerland was right to adopt the European Union sanctions against Russia.

In addition, 56% would be in support of stricter sanctions, even if they impacted energy supply. More than 50% said they would back such measures, even if there was a subsequent rise in energy prices or the cost of living. Nevertheless, 58% said they would be against additional sanctions if they resulted in elevated taxes spent on Switzerland’s defence.

Just under 75% of those polled are also in support of the government’s stance on refugees from the Ukraine.

Switzerland’s initial sanctions against Russia were unveiled at the end of last month, with the most recent announced on 25th March.

In total, Switzerland has frozen approximately CHF5.75 billion worth of Russian assets covered by sanctions, which will likely increase further. According to the Swiss Bankers Association, Swiss banks hold between CHF150 billion and CHF200 billion in Russian clients’ assets.

Furthermore, officials are continuing to press Switzerland to ramp up investigations and seizures of Russian assets in the country held by sanctioned individuals and companies.

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