Switzerland Considering Joint Military Exercises With NATO Countries
SWITZERLAND - Switzerland's Defense Ministry is drawing up a report on security options which include joint military exercises with NATO countries. It also includes "backfilling" munitions, the head of security policy at the Swiss defense ministry Paelvi Pulli told Reuters.
"Swiss Neutrality" has long been one of the main principles of Switzerland's foreign policy. Swiss Neutrality dictates that the country of Switzerland shall not be involved in armed or political conflicts with other states, and is self imposed in order to ensure its own peace and security.
Pulli stated during an interview with Reuters that "Ultimately, there could be changes in the way neutrality is interpreted". Pulli said that neutrality was not the objective in itself however, it was intended to increase Switzerland's security.
Unlike Sweden and Finland, which also enjoyed neutrality in the past, Pulli said that the report, which will be completed by the end of September, is not likely to recommend that Switzerland also join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Pulli also told Reuters that it's considering other options in its report which will be going to the Swiss cabinet for consideration and discussion (but not a vote), such as regular high-level meetings between commanders and politicians from Switzerland and NATO.
The Swiss defense ministry will also 'contribute' to a broader study by the foreign ministry that will consider adopting sanctions, weapons, munitions exports and the country's relationship with NATO from a neutrality perspective according to the Swiss foreign ministry.
Pulli said that "There is a lot of uneasiness that Switzerland cannot contribute more to help Ukraine". Backfilling munitions would allow Switzerland to send munitions to other countries in order to replace munitions that had been sent to Ukraine, she said, but directly supplying Ukraine is probably a step too far.
Swiss defense minister Amherd told the SRF broadcaster "cannot join any alliance because of neutrality. But we can work together and the systems we are buying are a good basis for that".