country. ukrainian troops are in battles with the russian army with front lines stretching more than 1,000 kilometers. and the world's leading oil producers have agreed to increase their output. opec members an their opec partners will add 648,000 barrels per day in july and august. the latest boost will compensate for a drop in russian oil which came after sanctions on moscow following the invasion in ukraine. "inside story" i next. stay was. with us.
>> staying neutral in the face of conflict. many countries decided against taking sides in the russia-ukraine war. but what does neutrality mean? and can a nation truly avoid siding with either. this is inside story. ♪ >> hello an welcome to the program. many countries have decided to avoid taking sides in russia's invasion of ukraine. 35 nations abstained from voting on a u.n. reds lose condemning the conflict. and russia's president demanded ukraine be declared neutral. but the concept of neutrality is under question. the invasion led to finland sweden that had long been
militarily neutral applying to join the nato alliance. india is officially not aligned with russia or ukraine but it has faced criticism of doubling its imports of russian oil. and even switzerland. the country followed much of the west by imposing sanctions and freezing russian assets in february. the swiss president said neutrality doesn't mean being indifferent to aggression. [speaking foreign language] >> why did we take this decision? other democracies must be able to rely on switzerland, states that stand for international law must be able to rely on switzerland and states that uphold human rights must be able to rely on switzerland the federal counsel examined the question of neutrality under this light.
playing into the hands of an aggressor is not neutral. >> let's take a look at what neutrality means it broadly means not taking sides in armed conflict between warring countries and abstaining from providing military assistance. countries interpret neutrality differently. for example finland and sweden are more relaxed about their status and describe themselves as nonaligned. whereas neutral countries in europe are bound by the policies of the european union. most countries are permanently neutral by decree or a previous treat where. a neutral state may repeal, change or modify its position. all right. let's brek in our guest joining on the line from new delhi. founder of the counsel of strategic and defense research.
in zurich, professor of sociology at the university of zurich and professor of international relations at the university of southeast norway. thanks so much for joining us on the program today. mark, let me start with you today. there seemed to be some confusion out there when it comes to the concept of neutrality. i want to take a step back for a moment and ask you about the difference between the law of neutrality vs. the politics of neutrality, how those two things differ? mark: that's a tough one. i can speak from swiss perspective because switzerland is known ass the first -- still the only state in the world has that neutrality enshrined in its very constitution. and that goes back actually a long time. there was a battle in 1516 in mariiano where the swiss were trying to extend themselveses. after that kind of bitter defeat
that they had there, they came to the conclusion that that neutrality would be a better option this. is only enshrined after the counsel in vienna and the counsel of paris and later as you probably know the convention in hague 10-- 1907. it is a country perched here between testing powers. taking sides is a costly affair t you can bet on the wrong horse or if you're caught in the cross hairs of these contending powers. and that's also why switzerland then became the center of the world for diplomacy and neutrality. it's linked to the peace that we had in switzerland and prospective other countries look to them as a paradigm. and today with this new conflict, of course, this is all in danger and questioned again. but the legacy of it is basically to keep out of these
cop flicks to preserve one's own stability and to act as a platform for diplomacy and peaceful talks. >> was the con september of neutrality interpreted differently in the past -- was the concept of neutrality interpreted different any in the past than it is today? >> well, it is interpreted in different ways. in the cold war it was pretty much defined with part of the blocks in order to reduce the tension of this block politics. that's why we saw new york during the cold war so finland, sweet deposition austria, switzerland that kind of create add buffer zone making germany the only front line. i think we linked it more to
membership and military alliances. but of course, neutrality encompasses not taking sides in any armed conflicts such as providing weapons to one side during the war. i think some of the idea of neutrality has -- was obscured and after the cold war. it's coming to argue now that neutrality is only over the past three months being able to come out. but it began to come out soon there after after the cold war because, there was an absence of this and nato began to take the role of representing europe. so nato became the main force for what they referred to azure mean integration. neutrality will be marginalized that was on the continent the whole idea of neutrality has changed a lot in the post cold war era. which is why we see that it's
been collapsing over the past 30 years. >> mark, i saw you nodding along to what glen was saying there it looked like you slight wanted to jump in. so go ahead. glen: this is a debate in switzerland right now because definitionally neutrality meant nonmilitary intervention. now the question with sanctions is that a military intervention or not? does that violate the law of neutrality which is enshrined in the swiss constitution? the military contribution is a red line. delivering weapons to ooh conflict zone as traditionally been seen as something prohibited by the swiss. >> let me follow up with you on that point. as you mentioned switzerland is having its neutrality tested somewhat publically right now. there's this debate about it. there's been some intensity due to a. the fact that they signed up on the sanctions on russia as
you mentioned some viewed that that switzerland has abonn -- abandoned the neutralty are we going the see more lawmakers bringing it up? talking about it? how much is the public involved in this debate right now? >> there that's a very good point because all these decisions were made top down. and switzerland is the only direct democracy. the people are the sovereign. at the end if there's a referendum they can overturn any decision made by the federal council. but the federal council ininess essence decided to violate the neutrality of switzerland. it's not true that switzerland was entirely neutral even during the cold war. it always was siding with, you know, with the u.s. in a sense. and also you remember 1991, switzerland participated in the sanctions against iraq so people forget that maybe a little bit. there's a precedent there.
it has been said bayamo college certainly of the cold car and of this withhold thing and switzerland has a partnership with nato. so even though it's not a member of nato, defactor kind of us. switzerland decided -- people decided to go up against membership in the e.u. be the federal counsel opened all kinds of doors that the de facto can remember. you're right. if this continues if the federal council today or tomorrow decides to deliver, you know, munitions to germany and then to ukraine, then i think there will be a national referendum or initiative. how that will turn out is another question because there are some people that are for and against. but i think it will come back to that eventual will. because neutrality is something sacred. maybe not to all or to the majority but a lot. this is within of the bed rocks of the country.
>> india is not officially o lined with russia or ukraine i want to look at that time moment of a difference between neutrality and nonalignment. how is one different from the other? >> thank you for asking that question i think is something that people are asking is india against? it has not aligned itself with either the soviet block or the u.s.-led block during the cold war years. except when india was -- but say example during 1970, the war between india and bangladesh, they signed the treaty with the ussr.
but india has claimed that it is a nonalliance country. you asked me the defense. it means that you don't take your position on any experimental warrant onity issue. you have the two blocks are fighting or two countries are fighting. you have no opinion on that. you don't take decision on that. you don't act on it. it means that in general, you're not aligned -- to either of the two blocks. but it will continue to have an opinion on what is happening continue to take your position or take an action which is in our national interest. >> you have not -- you pumped the country of it opinion. >> in gender we are not aligned with any of the two blocks or any of the blocks out there.
but we will take a dede situation -- take a decision based on the circumstances available. i think that's a very significant -- because d.p.a. is not an ununder power. i think they stay pretty active. talking about say for example they call an apartheid or the cold war. that it was an active power. so it will always have its opinions. look forward solutions to media and the during the cree korean war. it was an action power not a nuclear power. >> let me ask you. india has come under pressure to try to change its stance when it comes to russia and ukraine. do you think there's any
scenario by which india will take a stands against india's invasion of rue crane? >> the thinking is when the war began earlier by the russians in ukraine, we imaged that this will going to be a quick war. like for example. we are -- like it happened in 2020. that assumption that has -- turned out tobe completely erroneous. so if this war persists for a long time, if it is going to lead to a humanitarian tragedy in ukraine, i believe you're going to look at a lot more pressure on india both internally and externally to change its opinion on what's going on. let me caveat my argument that if it hasn't really supported the russian war, for example until 2014, india has set its
interest. india has not made that out in 2022. if you look at india's explanations at the bored at that time nights nation security counsel, india has made the argument that it is important to address this. it's not a good idea. all those correct arguments in its recommendation. they elect against it. so by not condemning russia one could make the argument that india is sun denly pro-russia. not because it likes what it's doing but because the geo political entwinment. and you know, so i think to answer your question very quickly, muhammad, i think is
this world becomes bloodier, there will be more pressure on india. >> glen, going forward, will the countries maintain their neutrality still play an important diplomatic role in finding political solutions to conflict or do you think that their influence will wane? >> i think their influence will begin to decline because there's hardly any more neutral countries left in europe. i think if not that sweden and finland especially argue that they will join nato, i think you will see less and less of this and they will steam be participants of the conflict. and by taking sides there's also less of our diplomatic goal that we can have -- role that they can have. now, turkey obviously is a nato member. but still, you see them having more of an independent foreign policy and for example their not
going to join in on the sanctions. so i think that the -- that the decline of neutrality will definitely have an impact on -- on -- on -- on -- on the diplomacy and the ability to promote peace. it has to be said that i think -- i think that the decline is also not just preventing diplomacy but it's also provoking a lot of conflicts and war. and i think finland might regret this decision because keep in mind, what would happen to ukraine? i think it's a common narrative if ukraine had been in nato then there wouldn't have been a war. but in real, it was that the u.s. and nato will force ukrainian neutrality that will provoke russia. because if we see what they're doing from its independence, the whole idea was that they should never join nato without russia it didn't joan with russia, then it would be fine. but without russia there would a
front line. they try to be virtual until they called for a revolution in 2004. and then relations have deteriorated until 2010, ukraine again pushed the glad the awesome neutral state. then things got calm again. and then we saw the toppling of janokowicz with western support and this is what unvalved the whole conflict. this will be another effort by nato to rob ukraine of its neutrality. >> that was seen by russia as a large extent of selecting ukraine's side. i think they pride on -- or collapse on neutrality. and will continue to make diplomacy more aner more ditch and create more areas of
conflict. >> mark, you know, following up on what glen was saying there. let me ski you about perception of neutrality around the world right now. at a moment like this, does it seem to you that more people are viewing the concept of neutrality negatively? mark: we d -- well, yes. this is a war between brothers almost. and the media has of course stoked this hate as russia phobia with china's players being bad and what have you, which is uncanny and regretably. i do think neutrality has gone out of it, right? because it's especially galling this precipitously.jump into i would say there's a broader
crisis frankly speaking. neutrality is not something part of the united states if you think about the founding fathers, they were saying we don't want to go back to search for monsters to destroy. and them overtime, america got involved in more and more wars. recently we know as we. and it became de facto empire. and someone like james mersfeir said we shouldn't become an 'em peer. and so switzerland now is unfortunately, also jumping on this bandwagon to a degree. but i would say both case in the united states and in switzerland and in other case, these decisions were made top, down. there never was really, a vote on whether we should go into iraq or libya or in other countries. now ukraine, etc. a lot of these decision were made back in switzerland. there's a huge economic crisis going. we should talk about that too
because all these countries will suffer more from the sanctions than russia is. and that's a very important point that breaking this neutralty yes, it's endangering global pea peace because diplomacy is no longer on the table. but also economically i think the conse consequences are verye and not necessarily positive for minute european, ukrainians so i think that's important. >> at a time when dialogue and diplomacy oftentimes aren't achieving their aims when it tries to find political solutions to conflicts. our institutions like the u.n. in decline? >> i think there is absolutely doubt about the fact that the united ire shoes -- we hardly hear of the united states being able to do something, anywhere around the world.
the one organization that is supposed to save god's and pass organization. how did they become so defund? >> so i think this argument that a lot of possibly things happening from the global power including india. the global international organization lead a fundamental restructure. >> today's notion is out of the institutions. do not represent the reality a and. these words were at the -- at tend of the second word war to soon be victors and the neo politics. they hold up to -- tons fortunate that we don't have any
credible system. or to bring about defensive. so i think, you know, not with standing what happened, at the end of this war in ukraine, or in pack it is, yeah. there is a throws a famous or what kind of vector was the synthetic wild. >> i think it has been demand by the powers of the global south. >> glen, there are many countries in the europe that may be rethinking their neutrality because of the war in ukraine. but what about other countries around the world? are around the world. >> from my perspective, i think it's maybely our european problem. we spoke about india. but it's -- they're trying to doctor a new reality. when you have doctors like india, they might be concerned.
and there are seek closer smarter inships and others in the region. and perhaps about not being seen to target them in china. they want to be -- this foe formation and not anti-chinese for example. lit not be scene as going against the chinese. our mystery -- i don't the neutrality in asia are happy about this. in the form of dogsment of a nation nato. a lot of this goes back to the whole -- what's very unique about europe. after the cold war, we have this move first that we were going to have a secured act -- military blocks. and again, i think people don't
appreciate appreciate what exactly whatted. o.a.c. was supposed to be security constitution which reduced the role of this military alliances and we feel like the russians they committed themselves for example from withdrawing the peacekeepers. however, this incluesive impartial security. because nato are not replacing them. either they have their troops right there or they will join nato. >> having tools back a tool. and this is -- this has been kind of experience over the years in europe. >> well, we are out of time. so we're going to have to leave the discussion there thanks so much to all of our guests. mark farha, and thank you too