The head of the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Viola Amherd, said Friday in Washington that the war in Ukraine clearly showed that Switzerland must strengthen its international cooperation, not only with Europe, but also with the United States. “Such a massive and brutal violation of international law as the one committed by Russia must not be tolerated,” said Viola Amherd, after meetings with representatives of the Biden government in the American capital. When fundamental principles such as freedom, democracy and the right to self-determination are violated, Switzerland must work more closely with like-minded countries, added Ms. Amherd.
Viola Amherd notably met with US Deputy Defense Minister Kathleen Hicks. They discussed the evolution of security in Europe following the invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russia.
Asked by media representatives in Washington about Finland’s application for NATO membership, Ms Amherd said that such a move on the part of Switzerland was not on the agenda because it was contrary to the neutrality. However, she stressed that a neutral country has leeway to strengthen its own defense through international cooperation.
The US Deputy Secretary of Defense for her part reaffirmed that the United States strongly supports the sale of 36 F-35A aircraft and five ground-based air defense systems to Switzerland.