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Candidate for Council of Europe chief arrives in Kyiv

Candidate for Council of Europe chief arrives in Kyiv Alain Berset arrives in Kyiv (

A candidate for the position of Secretary General of the Council of Europe and a former president of Switzerland, Alain Berset, arrived in Kyiv, according to the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine.

"Former President of Switzerland and candidate for Council of Europe Secretary General, Alain Berset, arrived in Kyiv," the statement said.

The embassy adds that the focus of this visit is the role of the Council of Europe in supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression and "ensuring accountability and justice."

Berset in Kyiv

Berset is not visiting Kyiv for the first time. He visited Kyiv as the president of Switzerland in November 2023. At that time, he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

On December 13, 2023, the Swiss parliament elected a new president and changed the composition of the government for the next four years. They took office in January of this year. Instead of Alain Berset, Viola Amherd, Defense Minister, became the president of Switzerland.

Switzerland-Ukraine ties

Switzerland has maintained a neutrality policy since 1815. However, it has expressed support for Ukraine and provides humanitarian assistance. In May 2023, it was reported that Switzerland could not allow the re-export of weapons to Ukraine due to a law passed in the country prohibiting such aid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to Switzerland to allow re-export. In June 2023, the Council of States - the upper house of the Swiss parliament - approved the re-export of weapons to Ukraine. It became known in November 2023 that France was negotiating with Switzerland on the re-export of weapons for Ukraine.