ZURICH Aug 12 Switzerland has cancelled Russian
participation in an air show, its defence ministry said on
Tuesday, apparently due to concerns about events in Ukraine.
Neutral Switzerland has not joined the European Union and
the United States in imposing sanctions against Russia over its
role in Ukraine, but says it is "exercising
restraint in the area of military contacts with Russia".
The West accuses Russia of arming pro-Russian separatists in
eastern Ukraine, something Moscow denies.
"Even in times of crisis it is important to maintain
contacts. Nevertheless, military contacts are of a special
nature and in the present circumstances it would be preferable
to show restraint," the ministry said in a statement.
The "Russian Knights" aerobatic display team had been due to
take part in the show in Payerne, near Lake Neuchatel, that
starts this month, but the ministry said this "would not be
appropriate at this time".
Switzerland has taken measures against Russian and Ukrainian
nationals and organisations to avoid being used as a conduit to
circumvent Western sanctions, but decided against imposing its
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)