‘Swiss neutrality is one of the foundations of our partnership with NATO’, swissinfo.ch

Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the Swiss ambassador to NATO, Philippe Brandt, explains the importance of Switzerland’s partnership with the alliance, which he views as perfectly compatible with Swiss neutrality. […]

SWI: Finland and Sweden, which neighbour Russia and are also NATO partners, are forging closer ties with the organisation, which was originally a military one. Is Switzerland “tempted” to follow suit in order to protect itself, as some Swiss politicians are demanding?

P.B.: Swiss neutrality is one of the foundations of our partnership with NATO. So far, accession is not on the agenda. This state of affairs is perfectly well understood and respected by our partners in the alliance.

Moreover, we maintain very close contacts with European countries that are not NATO members – Finland, Sweden, Austria and Ireland – even if our geostrategic environments and security policies are different. Security policy is determined by the government and parliament and the mission’s mandate originates there.

But the main result of our partnership is that Switzerland’s armed forces have considerably strengthened their capacity to cooperate – what is known, in jargon, as interoperability. This is of course a key benefit to Switzerland’s defence and security capabilities. […]

P.B.: By adopting EU sanctions, Switzerland is not deviating from its legal obligations as a neutral state. Switzerland has applied the neutrality law in its relations with Russia and Ukraine since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. This remains the case, even during Russia’s current military attack on Ukraine.

But neutrality doesn’t mean indifference. Neutrality doesn’t prevent Switzerland from condemning violations of international law and taking a stand for democratic values. Läs artikel

Läs också presentation tidigare på den här sajten av Leos Müller Neutrality in World History (Routledge 2019).