GENEVA (AP) – Swiss authorities to temporarily restrict airspace over the city of Geneva and deploy up to 1,000 troops to the region to help strengthen security measures for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s summit and US President Joe Biden next week.
Switzerland’s seven-member executive body, the Federal Council, on Friday approved temporary measures that will include sky policing and airspace surveillance by the Swiss Air Force at Wednesday’s summit.
“Switzerland is obliged to ensure the protection of persons who benefit from special protection under international law, such as the heads of state of the United States and Russia,” the Swiss Federal Department of Defense said in a statement.
He said commercial flights to and from Geneva airport would not be affected by the restriction which runs from 8 a.m. Tuesday to 5 p.m. Thursday.
The additional deployment of troops will have roles in protecting foreign envoys and supporting the Geneva regional police in the air and on Lake Geneva.
Local officials announced Thursday that the summit, which is part of Biden’s first overseas trip as president, will take place at an 18th-century mansion in a public park overlooking the lake.
The White House downplayed expectations for the summit and said Biden plans to raise issues such as Ukraine, arms control, human rights and cyber ransomware attacks. Russian officials said their agenda would include issues such as strategic stability, global crises, climate change and efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.