Exports from Switzerland to countries close to Russia have increased significantly, which may be a sign of possible evasion of sanctions against the Russian Federation. The example of Armenia shows the scale of the increase in exports, according to the publication of the first German-language television program of the Swiss Broadcasting Society SRF.

“Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the start of the war, Western countries have imposed sanctions against Russia. On February 28, 2022, Switzerland also accepted EU sanctions. Since then, exports to Russia have been prohibited, with some exceptions, such as medical supplies.

However, trade with countries close to Russia, such as Armenia, Kazakhstan or Georgia, is not subject to sanctions.

According to Stefan Legge, an economist at the University of St. Gallen, the increase in exports to these countries suggests the presence of sanctions-busting operations.

“Swiss exports to some countries increased just the moment the Russian army invaded Ukraine. In addition, exports from third countries to Russia also increased accordingly during the same period. On this basis, it is quite possible to build a certain logical chain of indirect signs,” the expert believes.

The example of Armenia is especially indicative in this case. “Swiss exports to this country, including pharmaceutical products not subject to sanctions, more than tripled in the first year of the war compared to the previous year 2021. At the same time, exports from Armenia to Russia increased by 198 percent,” the publication emphasizes.

Shipping goods through third countries is also likely to take place through larger countries such as China or Türkiye. However, according to the economist, countries located close to Russia are much better suited for any bypass operations, simply because they are both geographically and politically quite close to Moscow.