Switzerland refused to accept wounded Ukrainians

The government believes that it is almost impossible to distinguish civilians from soldiers and refuses to treat everyone.

The Swiss federal government has rejected a NATO request for assistance to people wounded in Ukraine, citing its neutrality. It is reported by Swiss Info.

Thus, the authorities refused to accept wounded Ukrainians for legal and practical reasons.

The main objections were that it would violate Switzerland’s status as a neutral state following international law. For example, the Geneva Convention and Hague Agreement of 1907 require neutral states to ensure that rehabilitated soldiers can no longer participate in military operations after recovery.

As for the wounded civilians, the government believes it is almost impossible to tell civilians from soldiers, given that many civilians in Ukraine take up arms to defend their country.

Instead, Swiss officials prefer to help the wounded by sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine’s civilian hospitals.

According to the Tages Anzeiger newspaper, certain Swiss cantons had expressed a willingness in May to treat the wounded but opposition from governmental quarters scuppered the initiative. The request was originally made by a NATO department called the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre. This body coordinates medical evacuations from Ukraine internationally.

This request triggered investigations by Switzerland’s coordinated medical service, Federal Office of Public Health and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Three weeks later the federal authorities rejected the admission of wounded Ukrainians for legal and practical reasons.

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