Geneva – one year later Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, A Swiss majority now supports closer ties with NATO, the government announced Thursday. A country known for its military neutrality.
The Swiss Military Academy and Center for Security Studies (both affiliated with the ETH University of Zurich) publish an annual poll on foreign, security and defense policy issues to assess long-term trends.
In January, 55% of the Swiss population supported closer ties with NATO, an increase of 10 percentage points from the January 2021 survey.
“This is the first time a small majority of the population has held this opinion,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
“Since the war started in Ukraine, the Swiss have become more pessimistic about the future of our country and the world. They now see neutrality more critically and are ready for more cooperation. I declare that I am,” he concluded.
However, only a third of those questioned supported Switzerland actually joining NATO.
Switzerland’s long-standing position is one of well-armed neutrality, and the landlocked country of 8.6 million people imposes compulsory conscription on men.
According to the survey, 53% believed that the principle of neutrality would not prevent Switzerland from cooperating with NATO in planning its military defense.
Although Switzerland is not a member of NATO, it cooperates with the Partnership for Peace and the Defense Alliance within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and is able to voice concerns on foreign policy and security issues.
The Swiss Neutrality Principle is supported by 91%, a figure down 6 percentage points since January 2022.
The majority of Swiss (57% unchanged) still support “differentiated neutrality”. This means that Switzerland will remain militarily neutral, but take a different position on a political level.
Switzerland is in line with the sanctions imposed on Russia by the neighboring European Union.
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/majority-in-neutral-switzerland-back-closer-nato-ties Neutral Swiss majority to return to stronger ties with NATO