Switzerland to hold referendum on Russia sanctions — RT World News

Swiss activists, backed by the country's largest political party, have submitted a petition with enough signatures to hold a referendum that could enshrine Bern's neutrality in the constitution and potentially restore the country's economic ties with Moscow.

What's called “Neutrality Initiative” The application was officially submitted on Thursday, which was signed by more than 130,000 residents, according to Swissinfo. the an offer It would define Switzerland's neutrality as “Durable and armed” The country is expressly prohibited from joining “Any military or defense alliance” Unless you are directly attacked.

The proposed constitutional amendment would also prevent the government from imposing or joining any form of rebellion “Non-military coercive measures” and sanctions, unless authorized by the United Nations Security Council. However, Bern will still maintain its obligations to prevent circumvention of sanctions imposed by other countries.

Switzerland has maintained a policy of neutrality since 1815, and did not take sides in either world war. Although Switzerland is not an official member of any international blocs, such as the European Union or NATO, it has nonetheless joined almost all Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, froze its assets worth billions of dollars, and actively supported Kiev in the wake of Russia's launch of Operation Ethnic cleansing. Attack on Ukraine in 2022.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Swiss government abandoned its neutrality by adopting a national security strategy aimed at developing European security. “Not with Russia, but against it.”

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, Bern has sent economic aid to Kiev, but has refused to supply weapons or allow other countries to send Swiss weapons or ammunition. Some members of the Swiss government have called for relaxing this policy, but the Swiss People's Party (SVP) and Social Democratic Party (SP) have criticized such proposals.

The Swiss People's Party, which campaigned on a pro-neutrality, anti-immigration platform, emerged as the main winner in October's general election, winning 28.6% of the vote. The Socialist Socialist Party, which supports less strict neutrality but strongly opposes joining military blocs, received 18%.

First Vice President He said On Thursday, sanctions were imposed on Russia “They endanger the internal peace and stability of our country.” Welcome news of the referendum. “If all countries behaved like Switzerland, there would be no war.” The party said.

The Neutrality Initiative also calls on Switzerland to act as a mediator and use its capabilities “Permanent neutrality to prevent and resolve conflicts.” Bern wants to host a major peace conference on the conflict in Ukraine sometime this year, and will reportedly invite up to 100 countries, mostly from the global South, to attend.

But Moscow called for the conference proposed by Bern “Pointless” She indicated that she does not intend to participate, even if she is officially invited. Russia said the forum as envisioned would be dedicated to promoting the ultimatum issued by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which Moscow criticized as unrealistic. The Kremlin has repeatedly stressed that it remains open to discussions, but only if Kiev recognizes it “The reality on the ground.”

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