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Swiss neutral army participates in NATO exercises

Swiss neutral army participates in NATO exercises Switzerland joined NATO countries in exercises (photo: GettyImages)

The Swiss Armed Forces are participating in NATO cyber defense exercises, Cyber Coalition, taking place in Estonia, according to Swissinfo.

The goal of the exercises is noted to be learning to solve complex problems collaboratively, addressing vulnerabilities, and creating a unified situational awareness.

NATO's Cyber Coalition exercises have been conducted regularly since 2008 and are scheduled to run until December 1 this year. It is stated that a virtual training environment has been created specifically for this purpose to avoid damaging real systems.

In early 2024, Switzerland's newly established Cyber Command will replace the current Command Support Organization of the Armed Forces. The newly formed command structure will leverage NATO training for initial verification.

Strengthening cybersecurity is a priority in the security policy of the Swiss government. The Federal Council aims to gradually expand the capabilities of the armed forces in this regard by the mid-2030s. The government plans to invest billions of euros for this purpose.

Switzerland's stance on the war in Ukraine

Switzerland has adhered to a policy of neutrality since 1815. Bern does not supply weapons for warfare, does not provide other military assistance, and prohibits the re-export of its weapons to third countries. This includes Ukraine.

Since February 2022, Switzerland has been providing Ukraine with only financial and humanitarian assistance. In May 2023, Bern took a step towards supplying arms to Ukraine. However, amendments to the law on military equipment were blocked in the lower house of parliament.

Nevertheless, recently, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that he is in negotiations with Switzerland to allow the re-export of weapons to Ukraine.