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Possible Swiss Anti-Russia Sanctions Contradict Country's Policy - Russian Envoy

GENEVA (Sputnik) - Refusal to provide accreditation to certain diplomats to fill a vacant position in diplomatic missions is common practice, fueling a diplomatic scandal is senseless, Russian Ambassador to Switzerland Sergei Garmonin told Sputnik.

"There is nothing extraordinary in the fact that sometimes we or our Swiss partners reject one or another candidate for filling a vacant position in diplomatic missions. This is a common practice in relations between almost all countries. Such issues are decided and we solve them at the working level. Fueling a diplomatic scandal here is fundamentally wrong and does not correspond to the diplomatic decency. It also makes no sense to try to talk with us in a pushy manner through the media," Garmonin said.

Russian Ambassador to Switzerland Sergei Garmonin stated that there was no objective reason to assume that Switzerland might impose sanctions against Russia over the scandal.

"I think that there are no objective grounds for such far-reaching assumptions. Such a step would be contrary to Bern's declared neutrality policy and would cause serious damage to the Russian-Swiss ties," he said.

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Garmonin suggested that the rhetoric employed by the Swiss media regarding Russia was an explicit political order and an attempt to persuade Switzerland to take a more confrontational attitude towards Moscow.

"As for the current inflammatory rhetoric about our country here, as well as the previous unsubstantiated Russophobic accusations from the so-called independent journalists, unfortunately, we must state that there is an explicit political order. I think that certain well-known circles, who are trying to force Switzerland to change the traditional, independent and neutral approach to the international affairs and take a more confrontational attitude towards Russia, are behind these 'revelations," he said.

READ MORE: Switzerland Follows Russophobic Narrative by Pressuring Diplomats — Scholars

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The ambassador recalled that in April 2016 the same Swiss newspaper reported that Russian hackers were allegedly targeting the Swiss RUAG company but the case was closed on August 27 due to lack of evidence.

On Monday, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said that Bern has tightened the procedure for accreditation of Russian diplomats due to the suspicions of illegal activities.

The Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported last week that earlier this year, two Russian nationals had been arrested in the Netherlands on charges of espionage and then deported to Russia. The media alleged that the suspects had tried to spy on a laboratory engaged in nuclear, biological and chemical research, but their plot was foiled by a joint operation by Swiss, Dutch and UK intelligence.

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