Swiss politicians defend Ukraine visit

Irène Kälin (pictured centre) during the Swiss parliamentary trip to war torn Ukraine. © Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

A cross-party group of parliamentarians insist that their recent visit to Ukraine has not compromised Switzerland’s neutrality.

This content was published on April 28, 2022 minutes

The delegation has been criticised, primarily by the right-wing People’s Party, for showing support for Ukraine during its invasion by Russia.

“I have pointed out during every statement in Ukraine that Switzerland cannot and will not supply weapons,” Irène Kälin, leader of the House of Representatives, told the Swiss media on the return of the delegation on Thursday.

These statements had been accepted by Ukrainian officials, she added. Other members of the delegation had also reiterated Switzerland’s refusal to supply weapons.

The parliamentarians visited the Kyiv suburb of Irpin to hear testimony of alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces.

Kälin insisted that the information gathered on the trip would prove useful for a planned Ukraine Reform ConferenceExternal link that is due to take place in the southern Swiss city of Lugano in July.

“We can provide money and know-how for the reconstruction of Ukraine,” she said.

Switzerland is for the first time due to play host to the Conference as it prepares for its fifth edition, pending developments in Ukraine.

The Ukraine Reform Conference was first set up in 2017 and is designed to help ease through political and economic changes in the country.

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