Switzerland Urged To Join NATO's United Front Against Putin

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Pусский (ru) Адмирал Роб Бауэр призвал Швейцарию вступить в антипутинский фронт

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This, in a nutshell, is the argument put forward by Rob Bauer, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, the body of the Atlantic alliance that comprises the defence chiefs of the member states and which has Jens Stoltenberg as secretary general.

"It must be made clear that Switzerland plays an important role as a NATO cooperation partner," Bauer says in an interview published today by the Swiss-German newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ). 'It has been participating in the Partnership for Peace since 1996, so we have been partners for 27 years. We have just renewed our tailor-made cooperation programme."

"We want to improve interoperability between NATO and Swiss armed forces," continues the Dutch admiral, who visited Switzerland earlier this week. "We also wish to continue training together, for example in the cyber coalition exercise in which the Swiss army participates." In addition, 164 Swiss soldiers are present in Kosovo, "an important contribution to security and stability in the Western Balkans".

+ NATO plans liaison office in Genev

'Fight for a common cause'

"It is crucial to fight for a common cause," the 61-year-old insists, referring to the war in Ukraine. "If the Russians win, not only would Ukraine lose as a country, but it would also be a sign that an autocrat can get away with such a violation of the international order."

"We must not allow autocrats to win the war," argues the former commander of the Dutch armed forces. "Switzerland's neutrality also depends on the rules-based international order. All states must recognise a neutral country as such and respect its neutrality. This also requires a rules-based security order."

Neutrality status does not exempt a country from having the capacity to defend itself. "That is why the modernisation of the Swiss army is so important: the purchase of the F-35 or the renewal of the artillery and the Leopard 2 ultimately help to protect the existing security order.

Bauer also points to the cases of Finland and Sweden. 'Under enormous pressure, they renounced their neutrality and non-alignment: they wanted to join NATO because they no longer believed that Russia would continue to abide by the rules'. But a state 'does not necessarily have to be a member of the alliance, it can also be a partner', concludes the senior graduate.

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