Today President Merz, in the presence of the Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, received the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yushchenko, on an official visit at the Lohn manor house. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Volodymyr Khandogiy, the Minister for Culture and Tourism Vasyl Vovkun and the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine were part of the Ukrainian delegation, amongst others.
Along with bilateral relations, topics of discussion focussed on the European policies of both countries, the impact of the financial crisis on Switzerland and the Ukraine and multilateral cooperation between the two countries.
At the reception in the Lohn manor house, the Ukrainian delegation then met the President-Designate of the Swiss National Bank Philipp Hildebrand for talks on fiscal and monetary policy issues. Tomorrow the Ukrainian President will also meet the Minister for Economic Affairs Doris Leuthard.The Ukraine is Switzerland's second biggest export market in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In 2008 Swiss exports to Ukraine amounted to CHF 628 million (+17%), whereas imports came to CHF 144 million (+21%), with a balance of trade surplus in Switzerland's favour of CHF 484 million.
Address for enquiries:
André Simonazzi, Federal Council spokesman, tel. +41 (0)79 597 64 49