This content was published on September 18, 2006 - 13:21

In 1515, the Swiss forces were defeated by the French at the Battle of Marginano in Italy. This marked the end of the military policy of the old Swiss Confederation. Switzerland's neutrality was recognised by the signatory states of the Vienna Congress on November 20, 1815.

Neutrality in the international context means the non-participation of a state in armed conflict between other nations. Swiss neutrality was chosen freely, is permanent and armed.

In 1993 the Swiss government abandoned the principle of "total" neutrality. Since then it has felt that Switzerland can impose multilateral economic or military sanctions.

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