Facebook Twitter YouTube SoundCloud RSS

Swiss Exports to Russia Surge in Race to Beat Sanctions


  • EU sanctions will have no effect whatsoever on the war, making them purely punitive, and akin to ‘geopolitical virtue signaling. 
  • The West’s self-inflicted economy-killing sanctions are about to kick in.
  • Export shipments jump more than tenfold before end of grace period.
  • Swiss have adopted the EU sanctions regime after Ukraine invasion in February.

Bloomberg reports…

Swiss exports to Russia of turbojets, air pumps and other machinery surged in the past two months as manufacturers raced to fill any orders signed before sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine render some of the sales illegal.

After ranging from 1 million Swiss francs ($1.04 million) to 2.5 million francs a month from January to April, exports of turbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbines jumped to 11.2 million francs in May and 5.9 million francs in June, Swiss customs data shows. Shipments of air and vacuum pumps showed similarly large gains compared with pre-war levels.

Total Swiss exports to Russia valued at 492 million francs were about 83% higher in June than in January, the month before the war started Feb. 24, driven mostly by sales of pharmaceutical goods, medicines, diagnostics and blood.

Switzerland’s latest trade readings show how the war combined with sanctions on key Russian supplies are distorting global trade — by rerouting the flow of many key goods, altering demand patterns and causing cargo pileups at European ports. At the same time, authorities are stepping up efforts to monitor compliance with a complex maze of new rules.

Overall, Russian imports have plunged since the US and its allies imposed sweeping sanctions over Ukraine, dropping 22% in the second quarter to $72.3 billion, according to the Bank of Russia. The authorities have stopped publishing detailed data amid the sanctions, but officials say shipments of investment and intermediate goods have been particularly hard hit. Complex machinery like the jet engines and other products coming from Switzerland are items Russia can’t easily replace from domestic sources.

Swiss Splurge

Switzerland boosted its exports to Russia in recent months:

By comparison, the European Union exported 110 million euros ($112 million) worth of turbojets and 194 million euros of air pumps to Russia from January through May of this year, according to EU figures. Exports of the goods from the bloc of 27 nations to Russia also ticked up in April and May after collapsing in March, though they’re in line with year-earlier levels, Eurostat data shows.

Total EU exports to Russia, however, have fallen since trade restrictions were introduced.

The restrictions on several — but not all — types of those goods are covered in different sanctions packages introduced in the EU, Switzerland and the UK. The exports have been banned as part of actions targeting key industries, while shipments of others are prohibited for their potential military use and some are considered luxury items sanctioned earlier this year.

Some of the measures include wind-down periods before the prohibitions come into force, as well as a number of exemptions. In Switzerland’s case, most of these periods expire between mid-June and the end of July.

SECO, the Swiss agency which enforces Switzerland’s sanctions, says not all machinery that falls into these categories are sanctioned and the transit of Swiss goods via the EU is subject to the EU’s sanctions. The EU and the UK introduced a ban on exports of most turbojets in March and April, and sales to Russia of various higher-end pumps used in key industries or by the military are also prohibited. Some of those restrictions are already in force.

The use of transitional provisions explains the surge of Swiss goods directly to Russia, a SECO spokesman said by email. Once those end in August, any violations are subject to legal prosecution, he added.

SECO has been criticized for not doing enough to seize sanctioned Russian assets in Switzerland but counters that simply being Russian is not grounds for a person or company to have their bank accounts, villa or buildings frozen.

READ MORE UKRAINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Ukraine Files



Restore Your Health - Clive de Carle's Natural Vitamin & Mineral Supplements
Get Clive de Carle's Natural Health essentials of the finest quality, including vitamin & mineral supplements here.



Get Your Copy of New Dawn Magazine #203 - Mar-Apr Issue
Get Your Copy of New Dawn Magazine #203 - Mar-Apr Issue