Swiss authorities will temporarily restrict airspace over Geneva and deploy up to 1,000 troops to the area to strengthen security at a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden next week.
Switzerland’s seven-member executive body, the Federal Council, on Friday approved interim measures that will include air protection and air surveillance by the Swiss Air Force during Wednesday’s summit.
“Switzerland has an obligation to ensure the protection of those who enjoy special protection under international law, such as the heads of American and Russian states,” the Swiss federal defense ministry said in a statement.
It states that commercial flights to and from Geneva airport will not be affected by the restriction, which runs from 8 AM Tuesday to 5 PM Thursday.
Additional troop deployments will play a role in protecting foreign emissaries and supporting the Geneva Regional Police in the air and on Lake Geneva.
Local officials announced Thursday that the summit, part of Biden’s first overseas trip as president, will be held in 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 ransomware attacks. Russian officials said their agenda will include issues such as strategic stability, global crises, climate change and efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.