During his official visit to Prague, President Cassis will hold talks with his Czech counterpart focusing on the war in Ukraine and its impact on the European security architecture. As a neutral country, but one that defends international law and peace, Switzerland has taken a firm stand on Russia in a spirit of solidarity with and mutual support for its European partners. In concrete terms, Switzerland is supplying Ukraine and its neighbouring countries with substantial relief aid, has joined the EU's sanctions against Russia, and is providing support for the more than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Switzerland.
Switzerland's new approach to developing relations with the EU
The official visit comes one month before the Czech Republic is set to assume the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in July 2022. Mr Cassis will therefore outline the key aspects of Switzerland's negotiation package with the EU, which was adopted by the Federal Council on 23 February, during his talks with the Czech President and the Czech Ministers for Foreign Affairs and European Affairs.
Close ties between Czech Republic and Switzerland
The two countries are closely tied at both a personal and cultural level. Following the Prague Spring of 1968, some 13,000 Czechoslovakians were given refuge in Switzerland and have since helped shape Swiss society. On the economic front, the two countries have developed an important partnership. Switzerland is the Czech Republic's sixth largest investor. The second Swiss contribution to selected EU countries, which includes the Czech Republic, will also help foster scientific and technical exchanges between the two countries.
Exchange with IAEA Director General in Vienna to focus on nuclear safety and security in Ukraine
The safety and security of Ukraine's power plants are being jeopardised by Russian attacks, increasing the risk of an incident that could endanger people and the environment. The current situation underlines the importance of ensuring the safety and security of nuclear facilities at all times, which is why Mr Cassis will reaffirm Switzerland's support for the IAEA's efforts to remind the international community of the key principles and measures that apply. He will also take the opportunity to address Switzerland's priorities for the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Mr Cassis will be joined by National Councillor Christine Bulliard-Marbach (Centre/FR) and State Councillor Carlo Sommaruga (SP/GE) on his official visit.
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