Majority of Switzerland in favour of Russian oil and gas embargo
A survey has found that the majority of people in Switzerland support the idea that the alpine nation should stop relying on supplies of Russian gas and oil. 62 percent of the population said that the country should forgo gas and oil imported from the Russian Federation entirely.
Certain political affiliations in Switzerland strongly support embargo
The survey, which was created by the Sotomo research institute alongside Swiss newspaper Blick, found that the majority of people in Switzerland are in favour of ditching Russian oil and gas. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Europe's reliance on Russian gas and oil has been thrown into sharp relief, forcing many nations to reconsider where they source their energy.
Switzerland’s neighbour, Germany, has faced repeated pressure from its European Union counterparts to end its reliance on Russian gas, and while refusing to impose a gas embargo, the country did cancel the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, causing major job losses at the Swiss-based firm behind the project.
The subject of Russian oil and gas imports is likely to remain controversial across Europe, especially as the price of utilities, food and fuel continues to rise, outpacing salaries. This concern is reflected by the Swiss survey’s results - as while the majority of people in Switzerland support the idea of an embargo, 36 percent of the country still oppose it.
Switzerland is not prepared for a clean break from Russian fuel
Despite the survey showing most people are in favour of ending the country's reliance on Russian fuel, Switzerland is not really equipped to do so at this stage, according to a report by NZZ am Sonntag. The report revealed that contingency plans in the event of an embargo on Russian gas are yet to be completed, adding that it is not currently specified which companies and industries would be allowed to receive gas and which would not in the event of a shortage.
For now, the Swiss government has begun talks to secure the supply of gas to the country, ahead of the cold weather next winter. NZZ am Sonntag’s report went on to say that the swiftness of the government's actions reflects the political urgency of the situation and how close a crisis really is.