The West is turning against Russia. 

The Swiss leadership is reeling headlong in this unholy alliance of benign indignation. The damage to our country is enormous 

Peter Hanseler

At the end of the Second World War, Western Europe came to the conclusion that there would never be another war. When the USA in particular nevertheless militarily asserted its interests in dozens of interventions and millions of civilians lost their lives in the process, some thought it was good and others less so – not much more was felt. In the case of Vietnam, there were large demonstrations, but without economic or serious foreign policy consequences for the USA. 

President Putin, who described Nato’s eastward enlargement as a breach of the promises made by the West on the occasion of German reunification and who stated this in clear terms at the latest in Munich in 2007 on the occasion of the Security Conference, has now come to the conclusion fifteen years later that the West does not take Russia’s security needs seriously. 

Putin intervened militarily after seeing all diplomatic efforts exhausted. From his point of view, the USA, Nato and a state puppet docked to them 450 kilometres from Moscow pose an existential threat to Russia. History will show whether this decision was right or wrong. 

Apart from the Chocolate-Heidi image, Switzerland stands in the eyes of the whole world for important character traits that have not only made our small country famous, popular and rich, but have also saved us from being dragged into the meat grinders of two world wars: Reliability and legal security on the foundation of neutrality, which is not only anchored in our constitution, but also in our mentality. That has been a thing of the past for a few weeks now. 

The West – which for the following thoughts I count the USA, Western Europe, Japan and Australia – seems to think it is the world. However, this group of countries only weighs in at just over one billion inhabitants. A figure that pales in comparison to the rest of the world with its 7 billion people. Economically and in terms of raw materials, the West also seems not to recognise the proportions and forces at play. Ultimately, the West is so broke that it can seem a bit embarrassing to become a hasardeur in this situation. 

The indignation and Russophobia sparked by the media in the West, which are surprisingly aligned, could lead one to conclude on closer inspection that this confrontation is nothing more than a well-prepared American attack on Russia: the USA allied with a bunch of naïve hangers-on. 

In the old manner, destabilisation, insecurity and ultimately the final nail in the coffin of peace was driven in with the US-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership of 10 November 2021. The Americans’ goal is to deal a fatal blow to the giant empire that cannot be conquered militarily, destabilising Russia for decades or at least weakening it to such an extent that China no longer has a strong partner. Then the USA can turn to China – divide et impera. 

The Americans, who regularly protect their interests by force of arms, have managed to convince Western Europe that it is only for the USA to take military action, and thus Russia automatically becomes a war criminal through its current military intervention. The American ability to get away with this marketing deserves recognition. After all, it was a bunch of bigoted slaveholders barely 250 years ago who wrote down in the American Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. 

It is already clear that this Western alliance of indignation against Russia does not seem to be working. China is not playing along with this game, much to the chagrin of the USA, which as a result of the Chinese refusal has issued new sanctions against Beijing in the old manner, once again on the grounds of the Uighur problem, since not even the USA dares to officially punish China for lack of cadaverous obedience. 

India, the other giant in the East, often forgotten in the West, this week not only disinvited a British delegation that wanted to go to Delhi to exert pressure, but invited Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov to come in early April. 

Pakistan, another insignificant country from a Western perspective, whose prime minister visited President Putin last week, stands by Russia. The rest of Asia does not even feel the need to comment much on this issue, as the attitude of this group of countries towards Russia seems to be clear. This thesis is confirmed by a glance at the press of these countries – no Russia-bashing far and wide. 

This rest of the world, by the way, does not call Russia a friend. Such word usage is a naïve and dishonest fashion of the West: clever foreign policymakers and diplomats see it as their duty to represent the interests of their respective home countries. Friendships, enmities, indignation, adoration and contempt are major obstacles in the exercise of this duty and thus do not belong in the toolbox of a foreign politician. The current members of the Swiss Federal Council seemed to have had a window seat at this introductory lesson in geopolitics, if they were there at all. 

With the headless decision of our country’s mothers and fathers to adopt the EU sanctions telquel, Switzerland not only abandoned neutrality, but also threw its centuries-long nimbus of reliability and legal security on the famous rubbish heap along with it. It fits the picture that the headless Bernese elite, well aware of its own failure, nevertheless persuades itself otherwise. 

But the facts that are being ignored in the Federal Parliament speak for themselves. For the first time in the history of Swiss-Russian relations, we now find ourselves on a list of “unfriendly states” in unhealthy company with world powers such as the USA and its allies in Western Europe. 

Arrogant representatives of finance and industry will now argue that one can certainly do without Russia as a partner. However, this argument is another fallacy. Switzerland has shown not only Russia but the whole world that we are no longer reliable partners and that the neutrality enshrined in our constitution was nothing more than a marketing stunt that obviously lasts less than the Schoggi-Heidi image. 

It is the world, not Switzerland, that will make this judgement and draw the consequences. Within weeks, our government has managed to do more damage to the reputation of this beautiful little country than all the banks in the last twenty years put together – bravo! Congratulations! 

The West is turning against Russia. 

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