|  NEWS

President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis has announced his country has joined other nations in implementing tough sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine invasion.

During recent talks in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, both leaders agreed Russia needs to be held accountable for attacks on civilians, according to Japan's Foreign Ministry. 

President Cassis, who is also the country’s foreign minister, said during another news conference that Switzerland strongly opposes war and urged Russia to stop the invasion immediately. 

He added that Switzerland fully supports European Union sanctions against Russia, with a fifth round introduced last week. However, Cassis reiterated that his country has not abandoned its neutrality policy, ABC News reports. 

“Supplies of war material would not be compatible with neutrality. Participation in military alliances would not be compatible with neutrality. Using one’s own territory to transport or fly over war material to war would be incompatible with neutrality. On the other hand, condemning any action that strongly violates our values, which are in the constitution, that is compatible with neutrality,” he stated. 

Japan also rapidly joined the EU and U.S. in implementing sanctions against Russia due to Tokyo’s concerns over the impact of its invasion on East Asia. The country has frozen the assets of hundreds of Russians and groups, and has also banned new trade and investment. 

Swiss president Cassis said to reporters that he recognised Japan’s strict security environment through his discussions with Japanese officials. He added that as well as being a neighbour of Russia, Japan also has tensions with China and faces the threat of North Korea’s missile and nuclear development. 

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