A year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the majority of Swiss now favor rapprochement with the NATOfor the first time in a country committed to its neutrality, the federal Ministry of Defense announced today.

This annual study was published by the Swiss Military Academy and the Center for Security Studies of the ETH Zurich.

It shows that in January 2023, the 55% of the Swiss population (an increase of 10 percentage points compared to January 2021) states for of the rapprochement with NATO.

“It is the first time that a slim majority of the population has this opinion,” the federal defense ministry said in a statement.

However, only 1/3 of respondents support its inclusion Switzerland in NATO. But 53% believe that the principle of neutrality does not oppose Switzerland’s military defense planning in cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Switzerland is not a member of NATO but cooperates with it in the framework of the Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Council, which allows Bern to voice its concerns on foreign policy and security issues.

A year after the start of the war in Ukrainethe Swiss “are now looking more critically at neutrality and are ready for more cooperation,” the federal defense ministry says.

Compared to January 2022, the principle of neutrality is less strongly supported, but still enjoys very broad support, reaching 91% (minus 6 percentage points).

The majority of Swiss (57%, no annual variation) remain in favor of the policy of “differentiated neutrality”, that is Switzerland taking a position at the political level but remaining militarily neutral.

As in a poll conducted in June 2022, a clear majority of Swiss (70%) believe that the sanctions imposed on Russia are compatible with neutrality.

Kiev and its allies have in recent weeks multiplied their more or less veiled criticism of Swiss neutrality.

Because even if the Swiss government has adopted the European sanctions against Russia, it has so far taken a rigid stance on the issue of the re-export of Swiss-made weapons to Ukraine.