Swiss President Seeks Dialogue with Putin in a Compassionate Letter

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.21 - 2024 1:18 PM CET

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Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Swiss President Viola Amherd sends a heartfelt letter to Vladimir Putin, seeking dialogue and expressing condolences amid recent tragedies in Russia.

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Swiss President Viola Amherd has reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a letter that underscores her desire for dialogue and expresses condolences for recent tragedies in Russia.

Amherd's letter, sent following Putin's re-election, conveys heartfelt sympathies for the victims of the Moscow terror attack at Crocus City Hall on March 22 and those affected by devastating floods across several Russian regions.

No Congratulations, Only a Call for Talks

In a significant move that reflects Switzerland's complex diplomatic stance, the letter explicitly avoids congratulating Putin on his electoral victory. Instead, it positions itself as a sincere plea for discussions amidst challenging times.

This detail was notably highlighted by the Swiss media outlet Blick, which reported on the contents of the letter. So far, the Kremlin has not responded to the letter, leaving the international community watching closely for any indication of Russia's next steps.

Switzerland's Role in International Relations Under Scrutiny

The timing of President Amherd's letter is particularly sensitive given recent remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who labeled Switzerland as a "hostile" country, unsuitable for hosting forthcoming negotiations regarding Ukraine.

Lavrov's comments add a layer of complexity to Switzerland's efforts to mediate in the Ukrainian conflict.

At the same time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has voiced concerns about the willingness of some summit participants to travel to Switzerland due to its relationships with Russia.

Despite these geopolitical frictions, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis maintains that any dialogue on Ukraine must involve Russia, underscoring Switzerland's commitment to remaining a facilitator in these tense diplomatic times.

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