Switzerland rethinking ‘neutrality’ amid Russia’s war in Ukraine

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POLITICO reports that Switzerland’s politicians are rethinking what it means to be neutral amid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. Switzerland has been neutral for close to five centuries, while being recognized in international law as an unaligned state since 1815.

As things stand, Switzerland may not directly deliver weapons to warring countries, nor is it allowed to re-export; so the Swiss government would need to directly approve any supply of weapons to Ukraine.

Bern has blocked delivery of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine from several European countries, leading to challenging bottlenecks, experts say.

Neutral states are required by international law to treat all parties involved in a conflict equally. Since Switzerland has joined international sanctions against Russia — which include a ban on arms trading — it was bound to do the same for Ukraine.

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