Swiss citizens told to leave Eastern Ukraine as SWISS suspends flights

Swiss citizens told to leave Eastern Ukraine as SWISS suspends flights

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has advised all Swiss citizens to leave the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as tensions continue to rise between Russia and Ukraine. Switzerland's national airline, SWISS, has suspended flights to the country temporarily amid the escalating situation.

Switzerland advises against travel to Ukraine

The travel advice was updated over the weekend by the government, which has advised against tourist and non-urgent trips to Ukraine as a whole and has told citizens in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to leave by their own means. The two regions are currently under the control of Russian-backed separatist forces who have seen more fighting with Ukrainian government troops in recent days.

In addition, SWISS, along with the rest of the Lufthansa Group, has announced that for a week beginning from February 21 it will be suspending its flights between Ukraine and airports in Switzerland and the rest of Europe. SWISS said, “The safety of passengers and crew members is the top priority at all times,” and that it would be closely monitoring the situation.

Swiss embassy in Kyiv will remain open for time being

The FDFA confirmed that the Swiss embassy in Kyiv will remain open, but said that it would be limited in its services should the conflict escalate. They called on “all sides to recommit to the ceasefire and actively contribute to de-escalation," and for Russia to withdraw its troops from the border.

Russian troops remain active on the border with Ukraine, and several explosions were reported in the separatist city of Donetsk over the weekend. The FDFA concluded by saying that constructive dialogue was vital and that “Switzerland is ready to support it” by offering the country as a place for diplomacy.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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