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Ambassador: Switzerland has clear position in Ukraine

Swiss ambassador to Ukraine Claude Wild, July 2022. © Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle

Claude Wild says the Swiss stance on the ongoing conflict is clearly in support of the victims, and that the Russian aggression is “illegal and illegitimate”.

This content was published on November 23, 2022 - 12:25
Keystone-SDA/dos

Speaking to RTS public radio on Wednesday, the ambassador to Ukraine again tried to clarify Bern’s policy, saying that when it comes to a situation like the current one, Switzerland “is not neutral: we apply neutrality law, that’s different”.

Concretely, the ambassador said, this means Switzerland “does not join a military alliance, and does not send weapons to the conflict zone, even to support the victims”. But when it comes to values and interests, Switzerland is not neutral: “we stand clearly behind the Ukrainian position”.

Wild, who was in Switzerland for the interview, said that the conflict had changed course in recent weeks, notably with Russian missiles targeting cities including Kyiv.

“There was a period almost of normality [before], with quite a few people returning,” he said. “But we already saw in July how at any time Russia was capable of launching missile strikes on civilian targets”.

Wild said that these strikes amounted now to “a reality and a tactic, a strategy” used by Russia in an effort to break the “incredible resilience and resistance of the Ukrainian army and population”.

Aid efforts

As for Swiss aid, Wild said this would be reorganised slightly as the cold weather arrives. On the one hand, emergency supplies are needed – shelter, food, medicine, heating – especially in newly liberated areas; on the other, there must be efforts to get back to normality, by helping schools, infrastructure, and employment.

Switzerland has delivered some 900 tonnes of equipment to Ukraine since the start of the war on February 24. The neutral country has however refused to supply arms, even after coming under pressure from Germany to allow the re-export of Swiss-made tank ammunition to Ukraine.

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