Switzerland A New Reading of Neutrality

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-4-26-34
Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University, 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.

Received 08.08.2023. Revised 07.12.2023. Accepted 14.02.2024.

Abstract. The evolution of the key principle of Swiss foreign policy – “armed neutrality” – is analyzed in the context of radical changes in the world community associated with the emergence of new threats and challenges. The confrontation between Russia and the United States, which entered an acute phase in Ukraine, led to the transformation of the positions of traditional European neutrals – Finland and Sweden. Switzerland did not stand aside. Having found itself under double pressure – external and internal – the Swiss leadership supported all the packages of anti-Russian sanctions adopted by the European Union, which led to a forced adjustment of the policy of neutrality. In order to maintain a balance between expressing solidarity with the position of the Western countries and maintaining neutrality, the strategy of “cooperative neutrality” was adopted in Bern. It proposes, taking into account new challenges, to move from “passive” to “active” neutrality, namely, to expand cooperation, including military, “with like-minded states on the basis of common values.” But at the same time, maintain a dialogue with other countries in order, on the one hand, to show solidarity with partners, and on the other, to continue interaction and act as mediators in resolving conflicts. However, Russia believes that having joined the anti-Russian sanctions, Switzerland has already lost its neutrality status, which means it cannot mediate in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, including providing its platform for negotiations between the parties. Therefore in August 2022, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused Berne’s offer to represent Ukraine’s diplomatic interests in Russia.

Keywords: Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, policy of neutrality, sanctions


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For citation:
Chernyavskii S. Switzerland A New Reading of Neutrality. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2024, vol. 68, no. 4, pp. 26-34. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-4-26-34 EDN: QBEIHX

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