Russia warns of tit-for-tat action if bank accounts of its embassies blocked

Deputy foreign minister rules out visa restrictions for citizens of EU, Ukraine.

Russia warns of tit-for-tat action if bank accounts of its embassies blocked

Russia on Wednesday warned it may start blocking bank accounts of embassies of countries that block accounts of Russian missions.

“The accounts of our embassies are blocked in different countries. Accordingly, if our embassies do not have the opportunity to open accounts and pay their expenses, including communal services, then, accordingly, appropriate measures will be taken here,” Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Ivanov told the Russian lower chamber of parliament, State Duma, in Moscow.

He added that Switzerland lost its neutral status when it joined Western sanctions against Russia (over its war on Ukraine), although it kept its neutral status even during World War II.

"This is the first time we have seen Switzerland fully supporting the sanctions imposed by the EU and other countries against Russia. We see that Switzerland has joined these restrictions in the visa field as well. So, yes, Switzerland's neutrality remains only in words,” he said.

Russia does not plan to introduce visa restrictions for the citizens of the EU or Ukraine, including for journalists, he added.

Asked when Russia plans to open its embassies in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which Russia recognized as independent states, Ivanov said: “The work is under way.”

Hüseyin Demir

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