SOVIET-SWISS RELATIONS: PAST AND PROSPECTS

Author: A. ALEXANDROV

SOVIET-SWISS RELATIONS: PAST AND PROSPECTS

A. ALEXANDROV

March 1986 marked the 40th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR and Switzerland. The statement of the Federal Council (government) of Switzerland in the Swiss envoy's note to the Soviet charge d'affaires in Yugoslavia of March 18, 1946, said, among other things:

"...The Federal Council has shown that it changed its former attitude inasmuch as it had been unfriendly towards the USSR. It has also shown in positive acts that it was inspired by the desire to put an end to the situation which had obtained in the past and to maintain friendly relations with the Soviet government.

"Quite regretting the circumstances that had interfered with the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries earlier, the Federal Council offers the Soviet government to resume diplomatic relations by mutually appointing ministers to be accredited at the governments of each of the two countries."1

The Soviet chargé d'affaires in Yugoslavia informed in a reply note of the Soviet government's agreement to resume diplomatic relations with Switzerland. As is seen, the Swiss government, after expressing regret over the circumstances that "had interfered with the establishment" of those relations with the Soviet Union, offered that thev be "restored".

Indeed, the first business contact between the young Soviet Republic and Switzerland was established through the Swiss mission in Petrograd as early as November 23 (December 6), 1917. Swiss Envoy Edward Odier passed to the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs a note in which he referred to Articles I and IV of the Russian-Swiss Convention of December 14 (26), 1872, and asked to ensure the protection of the Swiss citizens and their property in Russia, pointing out at the same time that "no matter how the land problem is decided in Russia with respect to foreigners, it can be implemented only in accordance with law by bodies ...

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