Swiss lawmakers are rethinking what it means to remain neutral amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In Bern, sending weapons depends not only on a political decision from above, but also on legal issues and a secular commitment to neutrality. However, for Kyiv, change may come too late. This was told by the observers of the publication Politico.
The neutrality of a small country surrounded by great powers is inscribed in the history of Switzerland: the mountainous state has maintained it for almost five centuries, and since 1815 the country's status has been recorded in international law as a territory of non-alignment to any alliances and unions, especially military ones.
Among those pushing for change is liberal politician Thierry Burkart, whose proposal to remove the arms re-export ban will be discussed on Friday.
We are neutral and will remain so, but in the current situation we are actually preventing our Western partners from supporting Ukraine, we are breaking the unity
he told Politico.
The legal trick allows arms to be supplied to a belligerent country only after five years have passed since they were received from an ally. And this is an eternity, obviously.
However, it is difficult to assess whether this bill has a chance of being passed, as some parties have said they will not vote for it. Many policy against this legislative initiative because, in their opinion, it would violate the principle of neutrality if the weapons were delivered directly to one warring country and not to another.
If we deliver to Ukraine, then we must deliver to Russia. I don’t think that this will ever become possible, just as delivery to Ukraine is impossible then
- said a member of the Conservative Party, Werner Salzmann.