How neutral is Switzerland, really?

Inside Geneva: Neutrality, NATO, and the new world order

Sweden and Finland want to join defence alliance NATO, and Switzerland's status as a neutral country has been the topic of many discussions since joining the EU in sanctioning Russia. But what does "neutrality" mean?

This content was published on May 31, 2022 - 10:00

This week on Inside Geneva host Imogen Foulkes discusses NATO, neutrality, and the new world order.

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Is neutrality even possible in response to the invasion of Ukraine?

Sara Hellmüller, Geneva Graduate Institute: "The law of neutrality is very clear, so the law of neutrality applies to the military domain and says that a country is not allowed to participate in an armed conflict either directly or indirectly."

Neutral Finland and Sweden want to join NATO. What does that mean for their neutral status?

Daniel Warner, analyst: "Neutrality changes over time, it’s not written in stone. Not only does it have legal and political but it also has moral implications."

And does strict neutrality have any benefits at all?

Jean-Marc Rickli, Geneva Centre for Security Policy: "There will come a time when negotiations will have to take place, and neutral states are very well positioned to basically offer mediation possibility to rebuild bridges."

For more insights and discussions from Switzerland's international city, subscribe to Inside Geneva on Apple PodcastsExternal linkSpotifyExternal link, or wherever you get your podcasts. And subscribe to our newsletter to get all the International Geneva news and views from Imogen Foulkes in your inbox.

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For more audio content from SWI, explore The Swiss Connection, a podcast with Swiss stories for the world.

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