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Switzerland Abandons Centuries Of Being Neutral And Is Now Backing Ukraine

Stewart Perrie

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Switzerland Abandons Centuries Of Being Neutral And Is Now Backing Ukraine

Switzerland has abandoned its historic neutral position on global wars to support Ukraine.

The European country, who famously stayed on the fence during World War II against the Nazis, has announced it will be supporting economic and financial sanctions against Russia for invading and declaring war on its western neighbour.

Swiss Federal President Ignazio Cassis said their move will fall in line with the rest of the European Union.

"The Swiss Federal Council has decided today to fully adopt EU sanctions," Cassis said.

"It is an unparalleled action of Switzerland, who has always stayed neutral before.

Credit: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Credit: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

"Russia's attack is an attack on freedom, an attack on democracy, an attack on the civil population, and an attack on the institutions of a free country.

"This cannot be accepted regarding international law, this cannot be accepted politically, and this cannot be accepted morally."

Cassis hopes the sanctions from his country will encourage the Kremlin to 'change its mind' and back away from the invasion in Ukraine.

Switzerland's sanctions will freeze assets of 'listed persons' from Russia and also ban people 'highlighted by the EU's packet of sanctions' from coming to the country.

Swiss airspace will also be closed to all flights coming from Russia, except those conducting humanitarian, search or emergency operations.

Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter hopes this move will devastate 'oligarchs of Russian or Ukrainian nationality who are particularly close to Russian President Vladimir Putin'.

Swiss Federal President Ignazio Cassis added during his news briefing: "To play into the hands of an aggressor is not neutral.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"Having signed the Geneva convention of human rights, we are bound to humanitarian order.

"Other democracies shall be able to rely on Switzerland; those standing for international law shall be able to rely on Switzerland; states that uphold human rights shall be able to rely on Switzerland."

Switzerland has upheld a foreign policy of armed neutrality for centuries.

It first began during the Swiss Reformation in the 16th century and the country hasn't played a part in any international war since 1815.

European powers have agreed since then to respect and honour Switzerland's decision to remain neutral even when wars might be happening on its doorstop.

However, it's clear the escalating situation in Ukraine has sparked a new approach to dealing with external wars and they have chosen to back the country that is being invaded by Vladimir Putin's armed forces.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Ukraine, News, vladimir putin, Russia

Stewart Perrie
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