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The oligarchs’ money: Switzerland is threatened by new problems from Washington


“Switzerland has to adapt to the rest of the civilized world,” says Bill Browder.

The Council of States often meets away from the world audience. But next week, it will be a little different: When the small room debates whether the federal government can independently impose sanctions on states or people who violate human rights, Washington listens intently. Bill Browder, 58, a London-based businessman and activist, is also looking forward to Bern.

At the moment, Switzerland only accepts sanctions from the United Nations or the European Union, but does not take any measures of its own. Browder finds the situation unbearable: “Switzerland is a sovereign country, not an offshoot of the European Union or the United States. She can make her own decisions.” If she does not, things may soon become uncomfortable, he warns in advance.