"Implementing projects in support of Ukraine will be a priority for me and my team"
Switzerland's support for Ukraine takes many forms: humanitarian aid in the east and south of the country, continuing projects to promote good governance and decentralisation, as well as humanitarian demining. And beyond the immediate needs, the country's reconstruction process is being shaped. The new Swiss ambassador to Ukraine and Moldova, Félix Baumann, is continuing this commitment in Kiev. In a video interview, he explains the priorities and tasks of his new role.
A year has passed since the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC) in Lugano, organised by Switzerland in cooperation with Ukraine. With the presentation of the "Lugano Declaration" containing the "Lugano Principles", Switzerland, together with 59 States and international organisations, defined the political framework for the reconstruction process in Ukraine. At the URC 2023 in London on 21 and 22 June, which focused on concrete reconstruction measures, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis described the Lugano Principles as "compass that guides us, even in the dark times we are currently experiencing". And it is precisely this compass that will be guiding the work of Félix Baumann, who took up his post a few days ago as Switzerland's new ambassador to Ukraine.
Meeting partners on the ground
"Humanitarian aid and cooperation projects decided by the Federal Council have grown in volume, including financially, and have also become increasingly complex. Implementing them without hindrance will be a top priority for me and my team", says Félix Baumann. In his new role, one of his priorities is also to meet the authorities, institutions and partners with whom Switzerland works on the ground. "This exercise will form the basis for all our future work," he explains. Félix Baumann was accredited as Swiss Ambassador to Ukraine on 21 June 2023 and met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the occasion of the presentation of his credentials.
Félix Baumann has many years' experience of working in the post-Soviet space. Over the past four years, he has worked in multilateral diplomacy in Geneva, where he has dealt with subjects such as international humanitarian law, disarmament and demining, which are important to his current commitment.