Russia’s war in Ukraine is driven by “terrible madness”, and Switzerland is willing to pay the price for defending freedom and democracy, Swiss President Ignazio Cassis said on Saturday.
Switzerland has decided to impose the same sanctions on Russia as the European Union but Cassis insists Switzerland’s neutrality is not at stake.
However, he said Switzerland could not simply remain silent in the “confrontation between democracy and barbarism”, and be prepared to accept the economic impact.
“On February 24, the face of the world changed, and not in a good way. We must bravely and tirelessly defend freedom and democracy. This has a price. The price is ready to be assumed by Switzerland”, he wrote in the newspaper Le Temps.
“This war is driven by a devastating madness that destroys all the principles and values of our civilization.”
While there are no questions about the economic crisis or downturn at the moment, Cassis said the conflict will affect the Swiss economy.
He said the country would have to face “persistent and significant inflation as well as rising energy prices”, while the Swiss franc would remain a safe haven, which would hit exports.
“There is no solution that, with a wave of magic wands, will save Switzerland from the consequences of the current situation”, he added.
Cassis said Switzerland would not send military support to Ukraine but neutrality did not mean indifference.
“Switzerland cannot tolerate this war without responding,” he wrote.
“Russia has massively violated the ban on the use of force, a principle centered in international law. By remaining inactive, Switzerland will play the game of aggression.”
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