Russian embassy in Switzerland rejects accusations of diplomats violating traffic rules in Bern
The Russian Embassy in Switzerland has denied accusations of gross traffic violations by Russian diplomats working in Bern, and said it had received no relevant complaints from local residents.
Earlier, Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported that a group of residents of a Bern neighbourhood where the Russian embassy is based had complained to the Swiss Foreign Ministry about Russian diplomats allegedly speeding and parking their cars incorrectly. According to the newspaper, the complaint was anonymous.
Vladimir Khokhlov, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Switzerland, told RIA Novosti that the diplomatic mission had not received any appeals or complaints from residents of the area in recent months, much less about alleged violations of speed limits.
“Besides, the Russian embassy is adjacent to other diplomatic missions, not to private houses: FRG, Algeria and Liechtenstein,” Khokhlov said.
He stressed that Russian diplomats strictly observe the speed limit in the Elfenau area, so none of them has ever been fined for speeding. Khokhlov also added that the diplomatic mission’s cars are parked only at the embassy grounds.
“Our official cars are parked exclusively so as not to interfere with the traffic of local residents, i.e. at the embassy premises, the adjacent cul-de-sac area and in the Blue Zone, where cars of other diplomatic missions located there are also parked. What’s more, diplomatic staff at the Embassy has never received warnings or reprimands from the Bern police, who constantly patrol the diplomatic quarter,” added a spokesman for the Russian Embassy.
According to him, the diplomatic mission is not surprised by such publications in the Swiss press. Khokhlov noted that the Chinese embassy in Bern has recently been subjected to similar attacks. He did not rule out that this could be an action against the two countries.
“Unfortunately, a number of local media have long ago abandoned the standards of professional journalism and do not shy away from savouring any, even the smallest and most ridiculous, rubbish and rumours when it comes to Russia and its representations abroad. We have noticed that recently not only the Russian embassy, but also the Chinese diplomatic mission in Bern has been attacked by the media. The impression is that this is a targeted campaign against the two countries,” Khokhlov said.