In light of this analysis, President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis, also head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), decided to have Switzerland's representation there reopened. The representation had been temporarily closed at the end of February. During the first phase, Ambassador Claude Wild will return with a team of four transferable staff. The Swiss embassy will continue to employ the local Ukrainian staff.
The physical presence of the Swiss ambassador and his team will facilitate contact with the Ukrainian authorities, which is also important in view of the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC2022) to be held in Lugano on 4 and 5 July. In the coming weeks, the embassy's team will also attend to key matters such as the coordination of reconstruction and development projects and humanitarian aid, good offices, and the media coverage of the situation in Ukraine.
An assessment mission carried out by the FDFA's Crisis Management Centre (KMZ) together with experts from the Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) has shown that the situation in Kyiv is now secure enough to allow the embassy to safely reopen, allowing FDFA staff to be there in person. However, if the situation deteriorates and an emergency arises, the team must be able to leave the country at short notice. KMZ security advisers and DDPS experts will ensure the safety of the FDFA staff involved.
The humanitarian aid office in Lviv has been integrated into the embassy's cooperation team and is thus a humanitarian branch office of the embassy in Kyiv. This completes the transition from the humanitarian emergency phase to the humanitarian programme phase.
The Swiss embassy in Kyiv was temporarily closed on 28 February for security reasons. Since then, the representation's services have been provided from Bern, Chişinău (diplomatic) and Bucharest (consular). This has allowed the embassy to continue its operations without any interruptions.
In recent weeks, the representations of other countries have also been reopened. Representatives of over 40 states are now physically present in Kyiv again.
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