In September and October, a series of online meetings of Swiss and Austrian activists for the defence of neutrality took place. Several groups from each of the two countries are involved. This was prompted by the joint declaration of the governments in Bern and Vienna to join the NATO missile system “Sky Shield”.
For peace activists, joining a central NATO weapons system is completely incompatible with the neutrality of our two countries. Assurances that it would merely be a “purchasing community” are not credible.
Moreover, the vast majority of Swiss and Austrians support the preservation of neutrality, whereas participation in “Sky Shield” would mean de facto accession to NATO. This would not only fundamentally violate constitutional neutrality, but would also endanger our security.
It is NATO’s nuclear missile arsenal that is one of the central causes of the war in Ukraine. Since 2008, the Kremlin has repeatedly called on the West to refrain from a further NATO advance towards the Russian border: The establishing of radar installations and missile launch pads in Poland and Romania have been compared by the Russian side to the deployment of Pershing–II–nuclear missiles directed against Russia in the 1980s! In fact, the missile launch facilities themselves can easily be converted to attack facilities. Nuclear missiles and missile defence form a single system and are designed to make the US threat of a nuclear first strike credible, thus underpinning the global power claim of the US and the West. Moreover, “Sky Shield” further drives the arms spiral.
We clearly and resolutely oppose joining “Sky Shield”, because it is the path to further escalation of war. Maintaining neutrality, on the other hand, is a clear signal in the direction of peace and against the warmongering NATO alliance, whose dissolution we resolutely demand.
Our transnational neutrality initiative intends to take a joint and simultaneous action against joining “Sky Shield” in Switzerland and Austria at the next opportunity. All democratic and peace-loving forces are invited to cooperate in this.
Independent Living Austria; Linksbündig.ch; Alliance Against War – Hands Off Syria; Anti-Imperialist Coordination, Austria; Attac Fribourg; Styrian Peace Platform; Robert Glaubauf, MFG regional group Vienna; Wolfgang Friedhuber, peace activist, Graz; Christina Angerer, psychotherapist, Innsbruck; Charly Walter, interior designer, Innsbruck; Georg Becker, Vienna, retired lawyer, Unter St. Veit; Peter Weish, human ecologist, Forum Wissenschaft & Umwelt, Vienna; Hans Bieri, member of the committee of the neutrality initiative, Switzerland; Willi Langthaler, activist and author, Vienna; Martin M. Weinberger, Palestine activist, Vienna; Judith Leitner, Vienna; Gerhard Kofler, peace activist, Vienna; Franz Sölkner, Styrian Peace Platform; Nikolaus Schwartz, Civil Society Initiative; Markus Heizmann, Basel, Switzerland, (member of Alliance Against War – Hands Off Syria); Andrea Duffour, Fribourg, Switzerland (Alliance Against War – Hands Off Syria); Paul Stulz (member Attac Fribourg); Georg Prchlik, lawyer, Vienna; Edgar Hagenbichler, doctor, mandatary of the MFG doctors’ group in the ÄK Vienna; Renate Konopitzky, biochemist, member of the MFG doctors’ association; Hubert Thurnhofer, chief editor ethos.at; Kerstin Bartel, teacher, Vienna; Andrea Drescher, management consultant, freelance journalist, Upper Austria
(Translation Current Concerns)
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