Switzerland claims to play an impartial and a mediator role in international conflicts.
The Swiss government acts as the guarantor of the Geneva Convention that constitutes the basis of the international law at the international level. The Geneva Convention and its additional protocols also constitute the basis for the activity of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
A special moment here is the Fourth Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention. In line with the Fourth Protocol on Protection of Civilians during War, it is prohibited to carry out any economic activity in the occupied lands and in this connection serious responsibilities are laid with the occupier country. Azerbaijan and Armenia have assumed responsibilities by joining the Geneva Convention.
The Swiss government makes donations from the state budget to ensure the propaganda of the Geneva Convention on the international area.
But does the Swiss government itself fulfills the requirements of the Geneva convention? Why is Switzerland, which is considered a founder of the Geneva Convention, turning a blind eye on its individuals and legal entities that turn the conflict areas into a source of income?
Making money by operating in conflict areas is not new for Swiss companies. Swiss citizen Vartan Sirmakes as the head of Franck Muller Group has been involved in illegal actions in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan. One of the projects involving Vartan Sirmakes is the exploitation of the Vajnali gold deposit in the occupied Zangilan region of Azerbaijan. In addition, Vardan Sirmakes in cooperation with the military and political leadership of Armenia also carries out the illegal operation of Kalbajar’s Soyudlu gold deposit.
Besides that, the gold produced in the occupied Azerbaijani lands is illegally transported to the Swiss markets of valuable metals and the dirty money, received from the sales, is placed in Swiss banks. Special role in preparing and executing this complex financial scheme belongs to Armenia’s current ambassador to Britain and Armenian presidential candidate Armen Sargsyan. He is considered President Sargsyan’s ‘black cashier’.
Thus, the legal entity registered in Switzerland – Franck Muller Group and its co-founder and executive director, Swiss citizen Vartan Sirmakes openly violate the international law, as well as the Geneva Convention and Additional Protocols and dealing with the illegal exploitation of the natural resources in Azerbaijan’s occupied lands ensure the transfer of illegal incomes to the Swiss banks.
By doing so, Vartan Sirmakes also rudely violates the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan. For this reason, the General Prosecutor’s office launched a criminal case in relation to him in accordance with the respective articles of Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code. Though Azerbaijan has sent a request to the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office with regard to the initiated criminal case, the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office ignores it.
It should be noted with regret that history knows the cases when the Swiss banks and companies were the secret places of keeping money received from conflicts. For example, the fascists’ accounts in Swiss banks during the Second World War, as well as the misappropriated money of Jews deposited by Nazis. Swiss Comfone mobile operator also carries out an illegal activity in Karabakh. Switzerland does not take any action to prevent this activity within the framework of its laws.
This creates a very controversial picture. While advocating the Geneva Convention and stressing the need for the global countries to fulfill its requirements, Switzerland turns a blind eye on the violation of the Geneva Convention by its individuals and legal entities. Is it not a dominance of double standards and financial income over all moral and legal values? It is difficult to find an unambiguous answer to this question. We expect the answer from the Swiss government.
We will send a media inquiry to the Swiss embassy to Baku and the Swiss Foreign Secretariat in this regard. We hope that the Swiss governmental structures will respond to our inquiry based on the principle of free media.