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Free transport and calls: How Swiss companies are helping Ukrainians

The Local Switzerland
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Free transport and calls: How Swiss companies are helping Ukrainians
Swiss Federal Railways will offer a free ride to Ukrainian refugees. Photo by Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash

Swiss companies and organisations a range of changes to help benefit Ukrainian citizens. Here's how.

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Several companies and organisations have announced policy changes in order to help people impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Telecommunications companies Salt, Swisscom and Sunrise UPC each announced they are waiving the costs of calls to and from Ukraine on its network.

“Sunrise UPC's thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and all those affected”, the company said in a press release.

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“In view of this situation, Sunrise UPC will waive in a first step the costs for international mobile calls and fix net calls from Switzerland to Ukraine and from Ukraine to Switzerland with immediate effect and until further notice for residential customers. Roaming calls within the Ukraine and calls from the Ukraine to Switzerland will not be charged”.

The other networks have taken similar steps. 

Sunrise and Swisscom also announced it is stopping the distribution of the TV channels of RT (RussiaToday), a state-controlled television network.

READ MORE: How Switzerland reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

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What about the railways?

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) are offering free long-distance train journeys to Ukrainian refugees.

SBB will allow people who have fled Ukraine to travel from the border to a certain destination in Switzerland or to cross the country by train.

The company said this move is in line with the decision of the Federal Council to imposing sanctions on Russia, and in agreement with the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). 

READ MORE: Switzerland to impose sanctions on Russia

The country could take in up to 2,000 Ukrainian refugees, “depending on the evolution of the conflict”, according to SEM.

“Switzerland has the will to show solidarity. An emergency plan is available in the event of major migratory movements”, it added.

Similar announcements have been made by public transport networks in Austria, Germany and Poland, among other countries. 

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