Six Swiss nationals are now on the US sanctions list for their alleged work with the Russian oligarch. Should secretaries and lawyers shudder? Classified Business Law Professor.
It’s a tough list — at least for those on it: the US Treasury Department’s sanctions list. On Monday, it was announced that the United States is imposing sanctions on six Swiss nationals.
Among them is, for example, the well-known Lucerne curator Alexander Studhalter. He is said to have worked for Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov. Nota bene at a time when there were no penalties against this.
The United States understands them Sanctions list As a warning to those suspected of doing business with the Russian elite. For the people on the list, this has far-reaching consequences.
It is primarily about isolating someone economically.
Kunz, professor of business law at the University of Bern, says: “These sanctions lists are not legal tools, but political tools.” “It is primarily about isolating someone economically. The people on the sanctions lists are being ridiculed.”
issue of the rule of law
However, this list of sanctions is questionable in terms of the rule of law, Kunz says. It is not even necessary to prove that someone has acted criminally. “The possibility of a response is actually non-existent.”
You may suddenly be on this list overnight without an action or hearing. “There is no fair process for obtaining this list — and there is no process for getting it off again,” Coons said. In addition, it is difficult to assess behavior that dates back to a long time ago and was completely legal at that time.
question of legal effect
For the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the issue is clear. He writes to the SRF: “US sanctions have no legal effect in Switzerland.” According to the embargo law, the federal government can only issue coercive measures to enforce sanctions issued by the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe or Switzerland’s most important trading partners and which act to comply with international law.
The Swiss Credit Association is also reassuring: there is no shudder in the credit landscape because individual defenders are now on the US sanctions list. “That would be completely baseless,” says managing director Vanessa Jenny.
In Switzerland there is a very clear legal basis: “You always have to be able to understand where the money comes from and be able to check and prove it according to the specification,” says Jenny.
But for business law professor Peter F. Kunz, the six Swiss on the sanctions list are just the beginning: “I expect other Swiss will be affected if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues.”
Against this background, it is expected that, for example, Swiss companies in which the Russian oligarch owns property will also suffer. “The end of the US sanctions policy, which has implications for Switzerland, is not expected,” says Kunz.
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