Neutral country

A neutral country is a state which is neutral towards belligerents in a specific war, or holds itself as permanently neutral in all future conflicts (including avoiding entering into military alliances such as NATO). As a type of non-combatant status, neutral nationals enjoy protection under the law of war from belligerent actions, to a greater extent than other non-combatants such as enemy civilians and prisoners of war.

Different countries interpret their neutrality differently. Some, such as Costa Rica, have demilitarized; whereas Switzerland holds to "armed neutrality" in which it deters aggression with a sizeable military, while barring itself from foreign deployment. Not all neutral countries avoid any foreign deployment or alliances, however, as Austria, Ireland, Finland and Sweden have active UN peacekeeping forces and a political alliance within the European Union. The traditional Swedish policy is not to participate in military alliances, with the intention of staying neutral in the case of war. Immediately before World War II, the Nordic countries stated their neutrality, but Sweden changed its position to that of non-belligerent at the start of the Winter War.

Neutral countries map
World map showing countries' degrees of neutrality prior to 2007:
  neutral countries
  disputed neutral countries
  historical neutral countries


  • A neutral country in a particular war, is a sovereign state which officially declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5[1] and 13[2] of the Hague Convention of 1907.
  • A permanently neutral power is a sovereign state which is bound by international treaty to be neutral towards the belligerents of all future wars. An example of a permanently neutral power is Switzerland. The concept of neutrality in war is narrowly defined and puts specific constraints on the neutral party in return for the internationally recognised right to remain neutral.
  • Neutralism or a "neutralist policy" is a foreign policy position wherein a state intends to remain neutral in future wars. A sovereign state that reserves the right to become a belligerent if attacked by a party to the war is in a condition of armed neutrality.
  • A non-belligerent state is one that indirectly participates in a war, politically and / or materially helping one side of the conflict and thus not participating militarily. For example, it may allow its territory to be used for the war effort.

Rights and responsibilities of a neutral power

Belligerents may not invade neutral territory,[3] and a neutral power's resisting any such attempt does not compromise its neutrality.[4]

A neutral power must intern belligerent troops who reach its territory,[5] but not escaped prisoners of war.[6] Belligerent armies may not recruit neutral citizens,[7] but they may go abroad to enlist.[8] Belligerent armies' personnel and material may not be transported across neutral territory,[9] but the wounded may be.[10] A neutral power may supply communication facilities to belligerents,[11] but not war material,[12] although it need not prevent export of such material.[13]

Belligerent naval vessels may use neutral ports for a maximum of 24 hours, though neutrals may impose different restrictions.[14] Exceptions are to make repairs—only the minimum necessary to put back to sea[15]—or if an opposing belligerent's vessel is already in port, in which case it must have a 24-hour head start.[16] A prize ship captured by a belligerent in the territorial waters of a neutral power must be surrendered by the belligerent to the neutral, which must intern its crew.[17]

Recognition and codification

Neutrality has been recognised in different ways, and sometimes involves a formal guarantor. For example, Austria has its neutrality guaranteed by its four former occupying powers, Switzerland by the signatories of the Congress of Vienna and Finland by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The form of recognition varies, often by bilateral treaty (Finland), multilateral treaty (Austria) or a UN declaration (Turkmenistan). These treaties can in some ways be forced on a country (Austria's neutrality was insisted upon by the Soviet Union) but in other cases it is an active policy of the country concerned to respond to a geopolitical situation (Ireland in the Second World War).[18]

For the country concerned, the policy is usually codified beyond the treaty itself. Austria and Japan codify their neutrality in their constitutions, but they do so with different levels of detail. Some details of neutrality are left to be interpreted by the government while others are explicitly stated, for example Austria may not host any foreign bases and Japan cannot participate in foreign wars. Yet Sweden, lacking formal codification, was more flexible during the Second World War in allowing troops to pass through its territory.[18]

Armed neutrality

Schweizer Armee Füs Gr
Switzerland is a key example of a country outside of any military alliance, but maintaining a strong deterrent force

Armed neutrality is the posture of a state or group of states that has no alliance with either side in a war, but asserts that it will defend itself against resulting incursions from any party.[19] This may include:

  • Military preparedness without commitment, especially as the expressed policy of a neutral nation in wartime; readiness to counter with force an invasion of rights by any belligerent power.[20]
  • Armed neutrality is a term used in international politics, which is the attitude of a state or group of states which makes no alliance with either side in a war. It is the condition of a neutral power, during said war, to hold itself ready to resist by force, any aggression of either belligerent. [21]
  • Neutrality maintained while weapons are kept available.[22]
  • Armed neutrality makes a seemingly-neutral state take up arms for protection to maintain its neutrality.

Sweden and Switzerland are, independent of each other, famed for their armed neutrality, which they maintained throughout both World War I and World War II.[23] The Swiss and the Swedes each have a long history of neutrality: they have not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and 1814, respectively. They pursue, however, active foreign policies and are frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world.[24] According to Edwin Reischauer, "To be neutral you must be ready to be highly militarized, like Switzerland or Sweden."[25]

In contrast, other neutral states may abandon military power (examples of states doing this include Costa Rica and Liechtenstein) or reduce it, but rather uses it for the express purpose of home defence and the maintenance of its neutrality. But the lack of a military does not result in neutrality as countries such as Iceland replaced a standing military with a military guarantee from a stronger power.

Leagues of Armed Neutrality

The phrase "armed neutrality" sometimes refers specifically to one of the "Leagues of Armed Neutrality".

  • The First League of Armed Neutrality was an alliance of minor naval powers organized in 1780 by Catherine II of Russia to protect neutral shipping in the War of American Independence.[26] The establishment of the First League of Armed Neutrality was viewed by Americans as a mark of Russian friendship and sympathy. This league had a lasting impact of Russian-American relations, and the relations of those two powers and Britain. It was also the basis for international maritime law, which is still in effect.[27] In the field of political science, this is the first historical example of armed neutrality, however, scholars like Dr. Carl Kulsrud argue that the concept of armed neutrality was introduced even earlier. Within 90 years before the First League of Armed Neutrality was established, neutral powers had joined forces no less than three times. As early as 1613, Lubeck and Holland joined powers to continue their maritime exploration without the commitment of being involved in wartime struggles on the sea.[28]
  • A potential Third League of Armed Neutrality was discussed during the American Civil War, but was never realised.[30]


Best 15 (11419866795)
Irish units on UN patrol in the Golan Heights, Syria.

For many states, such as Ireland and Sweden, neutrality does not mean the absence of any foreign interventionism. Peacekeeping missions for the United Nations are seen as intertwined with it.[31] The Swiss electorate rejected a 1994 proposal to join UN peacekeeping operations. Despite this, 23 Swiss observers and police have been deployed around the world in UN projects.[32]

Points of debate

The legitimacy of whether some states are as neutral as they claim has been questioned in some circles, although this depends largely on a state's interpretation of its form of neutrality.

European Union

There are five members of the European Union that still describe themselves as a neutral country in some form: Austria, Ireland, Finland, Malta and Sweden. With the development of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy, the extent to which they are, or should be, neutral is debated. For example, former Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen, on 5 July 2006, stated that Finland was no longer neutral:

Mr Pflüger described Finland as neutral. I must correct him on that: Finland is a member of the EU. We were at one time a politically neutral country, during the time of the Iron Curtain. Now we are a member of the Union, part of this community of values, which has a common policy and, moreover, a common foreign policy.[33]

However, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila on 5 December 2017 still described the country as "militarily non-aligned" and that it should remain so.[34] Ireland, which sought guarantees for its neutrality in EU treaties, argues that its neutrality does not mean that Ireland should avoid engagement in international affairs such as peacekeeping operations.[35]

Since the enactment of the Lisbon Treaty, EU members are bound by TEU, Article 42.7, which obliges states to assist a fellow member that is the victim of armed aggression. It accords "an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in [other member states'] power" but would "not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States" (neutral policies), allowing members to respond with non-military aid.

With the launch of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in defence at the end of 2017, the EU's activity on military matters has increased. The policy was designed to be inclusive and allows for states to opt in or out of specific forms of military cooperation. That has allowed most of the neutral states to participate, but opinions still vary. Some members of the Irish Parliament considered Ireland's joining PESCO as an abandonment of neutrality. It was passed with the government arguing that its opt-in nature allowed Ireland to "join elements of PESCO that were beneficial such as counter-terrorism, cyber security and peace keeping... what we are not going to be doing is buying aircraft carriers and fighter jets". Malta, as of December 2017, is the only neutral state not to participate in PESCO. The Maltese government argued that it was going to wait and see how PESCO develops to see whether it would compromise Maltese neutrality.[36]


The neutrality of Moldova is an interesting case. According to Ion Marandici, Moldova has chosen neutrality in order to avoid Russian security schemes and Russian military presence on its territory.[37] Even if the country is constitutionally neutral, some researchers argue that de facto this former Soviet republic never was neutral, because parts of the Russian 14th army are present at Bendery.[37] The same author suggests that one solution in order to avoid unnecessary contradictions and deepen at the same time the relations with NATO would be "to interpret the concept of permanent neutrality in a flexible manner".[37]

Neutrality during World War II

"Neutrality is a negative word. It does not express what America ought to feel. We are not trying to keep out of trouble; we are trying to preserve the foundations on which peace may be rebuilt.”
Woodrow Wilson

Many countries made neutrality declarations during World War II. However, of the European states closest to the war, only Andorra, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (with Liechtenstein), and Vatican (the Holy See) remained neutral to the end.

Their fulfillment to the letter of the rules of neutrality have been questioned: Ireland supplied important secret information to the Allies; for instance, the date of D-Day was decided on the basis of incoming Atlantic weather information, some of it supplied by Ireland but kept from Germany. as Axis or Allied pilots who crash landed in Ireland were interned.[38]

Sweden and Switzerland, surrounded by possessions and allies of Nazi Germany similarly made concessions to Nazi requests as well as to Allied requests.[39] Sweden was also involved in intelligence operations with the Allies, including listening stations in Sweden and espionage in Germany. Spain also pursued a policy of "non-alignment" though a Spanish volunteer combat division aided the Nazi war effort. Portugal officially stayed neutral, but actively supported both the Allies by providing overseas naval bases, and Germany by selling tungsten.

The United States was initially neutral and bound by the Neutrality Acts of 1936 not to sell war materiels to belligerents. Once war broke out, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt persuaded Congress to replace the act with the Cash and carry program that allowed the US to provide military aid to the allies, despite opposition from isolationist members.[40]

Sweden also made concessions to the German Reich during the war to maintain its neutrality, the biggest concession was to let the 163rd German Infantry Division to be transferred from Norway to Finland by Swedish trains, to aid the Finns in the Continuation War. The decision caused a political "Midsummer Crisis" of 1941, about Sweden's neutrality.

List of neutral countries

Note: Some countries may occasionally claim to be "neutral" but not comply with the internationally agreed upon definition of neutrality as listed above.

State Period(s) of Neutrality Notes
 Austria 1920–1938 (after World War I to annexation by Germany)
1955–present (Declaration of Neutrality)
 Costa Rica 1949–present
 Finland 1935–1939 (to Winter War)
1956–present (from return of Porkkala rental area)
Related article: Finlandization
 Ghana 2012–present
 Ireland 1939–present[45]
  • An EU Member since 1973, see points of debate § European Union.
  • Established a policy of neutrality during World War II, known as the Emergency in Ireland.[18]
    • Despite this policy, Ireland made concessions to the Allies by secretly sharing intelligence and weather reports as well as by repatriating downed RAF airmen.[46][47]
    • It was believed that Ireland would take the German side if the United Kingdom attempted to invade Ireland, but would take the United Kingdom's side if invaded by Germany.
    • After the war, it was discovered that Germany had drawn up plans to invade Ireland in order to use the country for launching attacks into Britain, known as Operation Green.
    • Conversely, had Ireland been invaded, the UK had drawn up secret plans to invade Ireland in collaboration with the Irish Government to push Germany back out, known as Plan W.[48]
  • Ireland was invited to join NATO but did not wish to be in an alliance that included the United Kingdom.[18]
  • Was granted a special acknowledgement in the Seville Declarations on the Treaty of Nice due to its views on the use of force in international politics.
 Japan 1947–present
 Liechtenstein 1868–present
  • Neutral because the military was dissolved in 1868.[49][50]
 Malta 1980–present
 Mexico 1930–present
  • With the exception of its participation on the side of the Allies in World War II.
  • Opened its borders in the 20th century to political refugees fleeing the military dictatorships of South America and Spain.
  • Since 2000, Mexico ignored the neutrality policy under foreign secretaries Jorge G. Castañeda and Luis Ernesto Derbez. Whether historical neutrality is to be kept is now internally debated. The Mexican formulation of neutrality is known as Estrada doctrine.[52]
 Mongolia 1914–1918
  • During World War I Mongolia was neutral, but became a belligerent country of World War II. In September 2015, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj in the 70th UN General Assembly speech suddenly announced that Mongolia will implement the "policy of permanent neutrality," and called on the international community to recognise Mongolian neutrality.[53]
  • Is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
 Moldova 1994–present
 Panama 1989–present
 Rwanda 2009–present
 Serbia 2007–present
  • The National Assembly of Serbia declared armed neutrality in 2007.[56]
    Serbia is the only state in the former Yugoslavia that is not seeking NATO membership. The key narrative that has been used to justify the policy is the trauma of NATO intervention in 1999 and the ensuing secession of Kosovo, but also close relationship with the Russian Federation.[57]
 Singapore 1965–present
  • Expelled from the Federation of Malaysia, gaining independence in 1965.
  • A founding member of ASEAN alongside its south-east Asian neighbours.
  • Has not been involved in any war since independence except had an incident in 1975 when a South Vietnamese pilot flew his family out of South Vietnam as war refugees in a stolen plane (C-130a owned by the Smithsonian Air & Space) from the Vietnam War as the North Vietnamese communists were taking over the South
 Sweden 1814–present
  • An EU Member since 1995, see points of debate § European Union.
  • First nation in the world to declare neutrality in 1814.
  • Sweden has not been part of a war since 1814. This makes Sweden the nation which has had the longest period of peace.
    • Has adapted policy to protect its interests. In Second World War it allowed German forces through its territory to assist the Finns when attacked by the Soviet Red Army, while also protecting refugees from the Nazis.[18]
  Switzerland 1815–present
  • Self-imposed, permanent, and armed, designed to ensure external security.
  • It has not fought a foreign war since its neutrality was established by the Treaty of Paris in 1815.
  • In 1789 France occupied much of the country.[18]
  • The 1815 Congress of Vienna re-established Switzerland and its permanent neutrality was guaranteed by Britain, France, Prussia, Russia and others.[18]
  • Swiss neutrality was so rigorously defended that the country refused to even join the United Nations until 2002.[58]
 Turkmenistan 1995–present
  Vatican City 1929–present
  • The Lateran Treaty signed in 1929 with Italy imposed that "The Pope was pledged to perpetual neutrality in international relations and to abstention from mediation in a controversy unless specifically requested by all parties" thus making Vatican City neutral since then.

List of formerly neutral countries

State Period(s) of Neutrality Notes
Afghanistan Afghanistan 1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
1939–1945 (neutral during World War II)
 Albania 1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
1968 (attempted neutrality during the Prague Spring)
  • A NATO member since 2009.
 Belgium 1839–1914 (to World War I)
1936–1940 (to World War II)
 Bhutan 1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
1939–1945 (neutral during World War II)
  • In accordance with the Treaty of Punakha in 1910, Bhutan during World War II to deal with foreign relations powers to the United Kingdom, Bhutan became the de facto wartime neutral country.
  • Is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
 Cambodia 1955–1970 (to Vietnam War)
 China 1904–1905 (neutral during the Russo-Japanese War)
 Denmark 1864–1940 (after Second Schleswig War to World War II)
 Estonia 1938–1939 (to World War II)
 Ethiopian Empire 1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
 Hungary 1956 (attempted neutrality during the Hungarian Revolution)
 Persia 1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
 Kingdom of Italy 1914–1915 (to World War I)
  • A NATO member since 1949.
  • EU member since 1957.
 Kingdom of Laos 1955–1975 (ostensibly neutral throughout the Vietnam War)
 Latvia 1938–1939 (to World War II)
 Lithuania 1939 (to World War II)
 Luxembourg 1839–1914 (to World War I)
1920–1940 (to World War II)
  • Neutral stance since 1839, abolished through its constitution in 1948.
  • A NATO member since 1949
  • EU member since 1957
 Netherlands 1839–1940 (to World War II)
  • Self-imposed neutrality between 1839 and 1940 on the European continent.
  • A NATO member since 1949.
  • EU member since 1957
 Norway 1814–1940 (to World War II) :Related article: The Neutral Ally
  • A NATO member since 1949.
 Philippines 2010 (attempted neutrality during the Manila hostage crisis)
 Portugal 1932–1945 (neutral during World War II)
  • A NATO member since 1949.
  • EU member since 1986
 South Korea 1954–1964 (to Vietnam War)
 Spain 1914–1918 (neutral during World War I)
1940–1945 (neutral during World War II)
  • While neutral throughout World War I and World War II, Spain did lean towards the Axis, as evidenced by the Blue Division.
  • A NATO member since 1982.
  • EU member since 1986
 Turkey 1940–1945 (neutral during World War II)
  • A NATO member since 1952.
 United States 1914–1917 (to World War I)
1939–1941 (to World War II)
 Ukraine 1990–2014 (to Ukrainian crisis)
  • Ukraine's parliament voted to drop non-aligned status on December 23, 2014.[60]
    In its Declaration of Sovereignty (1990), Ukraine declared it had the "intention of becoming a permanently neutral state that does not participate in military blocs and adheres to three nuclear free principles" (art. 9). Neutrality was then enshrined in the 1996 Ukrainian Constitution, based upon the Declaration of Independence of August 24, 1991, containing the basic principles of non-coalition and future neutrality.[61] Such policy of state non-alignment was re-confirmed by law in 2010.[62]
Kingdom of Yugoslavia Kingdom of Yugoslavia 1940–1941
  • Although founding member of the Little Entente committed to it until its dissolution in 1938, after much German pressure Yugoslavia was forced to declare its neutrality between the Axis and Western powers.[63]
 Yugoslavia 1949–1992

See also


  1. ^ "The Avalon Project - Laws of War : Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land (Hague V); October 18, 1907".
  2. ^ "The Avalon Project - Laws of War : Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War (Hague XIII); October 18, 1907".
  3. ^ Hague Convention, §5 Art.1
  4. ^ Hague Convention, §5 Art.10
  5. ^ Hague Convention, §5 Art.11
  6. ^ Hague Convention, §5 Art.13
  7. ^ Hague Convention, §5 Art.4,5
  8. ^ Hague Convention, §5 Art.6
  9. ^ Hague Convention, §5 Art.2
  10. ^ Hague Convention, §5 Art.14
  11. ^ Hague Convention, §5 Art.8
  12. ^ Hague Convention, §13 Art.6
  13. ^ Hague Convention, §13 Art.7
  14. ^ Hague Convention, §13 Art.12
  15. ^ Hague Convention, §13 Art.14
  16. ^ Hague Convention, §13 Art.16
  17. ^ Hague Convention, §13 Art.3
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Neutral European countries".
  19. ^ Oppenheim, International Law: War and Neutrality, 1906, p. 325.
  20. ^ "Armed Neutrality". Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  21. ^ "Armed Neutrality Law & Legal Definition". USLegal. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  22. ^ "Armed Neutrality". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  23. ^ Bissell and Gasteyger, The Missing link: West European Neutrals and Regional Security, 1990, p. 117; Murdoch and Sandler, "Swedish Military Expenditures and Armed Neutrality," in The Economics of Defence Spending, 1990, p. 148-149.
  24. ^ "Switzerland - Knowledge Encyclopedia". Knowledge Encyclopedia. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  25. ^ Chapin, Emerson. "Edwin Reischauer, Diplomat and Scholar, Dies at 79," New York Times. September 2, 1990.
  26. ^ See, generally, Scott, The Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800: A Collection of Official Documents Preceded by the Views of Representative Publicists, 1918; Karsh, Neutrality and Small States, 1988, p. 16-17; Jones, Crucible of Power: A History of American Foreign Relations to 1913, 2009, p. 15-17.
  27. ^ Vinarov, Mikhail. "The First League of Armed Neutrality". CiteLighter. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  28. ^ Kulsrud, Carl. "Armed Neutralitys to 1780". American Journal of International Law. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  29. ^ See, generally, Scott, The Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800: A Collection of Official Documents Preceded by the Views of Representative Publicists, 1918; Karsh, Neutrality and Small States, 1988, p. 17.
  30. ^ Bienstock, The Struggle for the Pacific, 2007, p. 150.
  31. ^ "Protecting neutrality in a militarised EU".
  32. ^ International peace-keeping operations. Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Federal Administration Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  33. ^ Presentation of the programme of the Finnish presidency (debate) 5 July 2006, European Parliament Strasbourg
  34. ^ "Finland should stay militarily non-aligned: prime minister". 4 December 2017 – via Reuters.
  35. ^ Affairs, Department of Foreign. "Neutrality - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade".
  36. ^ "Malta to 'wait and see' before deciding on PESCO defence pact, Muscat says".
  37. ^ a b c Marandici, Ion (2006). "Moldova's neutrality: what is at stake?". Lviv: IDIS-Viitorul and the Center for European Studies. Archived from the original (MS Word) on 2008-10-30.
  38. ^ "The WWII camp where Allies and Germans mixed". 28 June 2011 – via
  39. ^ Chen, C. Peter. "Sweden in World War II".
  40. ^ Brinkley, Dougals; Rubel, David (2003). World War II: The Axis Assault, 1939-1940. USA: MacMillan. pp. 99–106.
  41. ^ "Costa Rica". World Desk Reference. Archived from the original on February 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  42. ^ El Espíritu del 48. "Abolición del Ejército". Retrieved 2008-03-09. (Spanish)
  43. ^ Álvaro Murillo (El País). "Costa Rica prohíbe por ley participar en cualquier guerra". Retrieved 2008-03-09. (Spanish)
  44. ^ a b "Ghana's President John Atta Mills dies". BBC News. 24 July 2012. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "rwandajoins" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  45. ^ Neutrality in the 21st century - Lessons for Serbia. ISAC Fond. 2013.
  46. ^ Burke, Dan. "Benevolent Neutrality". The War Room. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  47. ^ Joe McCabe (1944-06-03). "How Blacksod lighthouse changed the course of the Second World War". Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  48. ^ John P. Duggan, Neutral Ireland and the Third Reich Lilliput Press; Rev. ed edition, 1989. p. 223
  49. ^ "Background Note: Liechtenstein". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  50. ^ "Imagebroschuere_LP_e.indd" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2014-11-19.
  51. ^ Woodliffe, John (1992). The Peacetime Use of Foreign Military Installations Under Modern International Law. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0-7923-1879-X. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  52. ^ La Jornada (27 April 2007). "Adiós a la neutralidad - La Jornada". Retrieved 2013-09-19.
  53. ^ "Why Mongolia wants to "permanently neutral" can be authorized for an observation". Tencent News. 22 October 2015.
  54. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2017-04-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  56. ^ Enclosed by NATO, Serbia ponders next move Archived 2009-04-07 at the Wayback Machine AFP, 6 April 2009
  57. ^ Ejdus, Filip (2014). "Serbia's Military Neutrality: origins, effects and challenges" (PDF). Croatian International Relations Review: 43–69. doi:10.2478/cirr2014-0008.
  58. ^ Carroll, Rory (4 March 2002). "Switzerland decides to join UN". the Guardian.
  59. ^ "A/RES/50/80; U.N. General Assembly". Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  60. ^ "Ukraine votes to drop neutral status". 23 December 2014 – via
  61. ^ "Ukraine's Neutrality: A Myth or Reality?". Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  62. ^ "Ukraine Parliament Ok's neutrality bill". Kyiv Post. Kiev, Ukraine. AP. 4 June 2010.
  63. ^ Contemporary Yugoslavia: Twenty Years of Socialist Experiment by Wayne S. Vucinich and Jozo Tomasevich, Stanford University, page 64
  64. ^ Neutrality and Neutralism in the Global Cold War: Between or Within the Blocs? by Sandra Bott, Jussi M. Hanhimaki, Janick Schaufelbuehl and Marco Wyss, page 74


  • Bemis, Samuel. "The United States and the Abortive Armed Neutrality of 1794. In "The American Historical Review, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Oct., 1918), pp. 26-47
  • Bienstock, Gregory. The Struggle for the Pacific. Alcester, Warwickshire, U.K.: READ BOOKS, 2007. ISBN 1-4067-7218-6
  • Bissell, Richard E. and Gasteyger, Curt Walter. The Missing link: West European Neutrals and Regional Security. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-8223-0953-X
  • Fenwick, Charles. "The Status of Armed Neutrality." The American Political Science Review, Vol. 11, No. 2 (May, 1917), pp. 388–389
  • Hayes, Carlton. "Armed Neutrality with a Purpose." In "The Advocate of Peace." Vol. 79, No. 3 (MARCH, 1917), pp. 74–77
  • Jones, Howard. Crucible of Power: A History of American Foreign Relations to 1913. 2d ed. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. ISBN 0-7425-6534-3
  • Karsh, Efraim. Neutrality and Small States. Florence, Ky.: Routledge, 1988. ISBN 0-415-00507-8
  • Kulsrud, Carl. "Armed Neutrality to 1870." Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jul., 1935), pp. 423–447
  • Murdoch, James C. and Sandler, Todd. "Swedish Military Expenditures and Armed Neutrality." In The Economics of Defence Spending: An International Survey. Keith Hartley and Todd Sandler, eds. Florence, Ky.: Routledge, 1990. ISBN 0-415-00161-7
  • O'Sullivan, Michael Joseph. Ireland and the Global Question. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8156-3106-5
  • Oppenheim, Lassa. International Law: War and Neutrality. London: Longmans, Green, 1906.
  • Scott, James Brown. The Armed Neutralities of 1780 and 1800: A Collection of Official Documents Preceded by the Views of Representative Publicists. New York: Oxford University Press, 1918.
  • Wills, Clair. That Neutral Island: A Cultural History of Ireland During the Second World War. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-674-02682-9
  • "Woodrow Wilson asks U.S. Congress for declaration of war". The History Channel website. 2014. Event occurs at 10:51. Retrieved April 28, 2014..

External links

1948 Winter Olympics

The 1948 Winter Olympics, officially known as the V Olympic Winter Games (French: Les Ves Jeux olympiques d'hiver; German: Olympische Winterspiele 1948; Italian: V Giochi olimpici invernali; Romansh: Gieus olimpics d'enviern 1948), was a winter multi-sport event celebrated in 1948 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The Games were the first to be celebrated after World War II; it had been 12 years since the last Winter Games in 1936. From the selection of a host city in a neutral country to the exclusion of Japan and Germany, the political atmosphere of the post-war world was inescapable during the Games. The organizing committee faced several challenges due to the lack of financial and human resources consumed by the war. These were the first of two winter Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Sigfrid Edström.

There were 28 nations that marched in the opening ceremonies on January 30, 1948. Nearly 670 athletes competed in 22 events in four sports. The Games also featured two demonstration sports: military patrol, which later became the biathlon, and winter pentathlon, which was discontinued after these Games. Notable performances were turned in by figure skaters Dick Button and Barbara Ann Scott and skier Henri Oreiller. Most of the athletic venues were already in existence from the first time St. Moritz hosted the Winter Games in 1928. All of the venues were outdoors, which meant the Games were heavily dependent on favorable weather conditions.

Aero Portuguesa

The Aero Portuguesa (the AP, sometimes written Aero-Portuguesa, short names for the Sociedade Aero Portuguesa Lda. - Air Portuguese Society, Ltd.) was the first airline of Portugal with regular international services. It existed from 1934 to 1953, when its routes were integrated in the TAP service.

The AP was created with the main objective of providing a regular air connection between Portugal, Morocco and Brazil. The flights from Lisbon to Casablanca and Tangier started in 1934. The flights between Lisbon and Brazil started in 1936. There were also plans to establish routes between Lisbon, Madrid and Paris, between the Portuguese colonies of Guinea and Cape Verde and between the French Congo and the Portuguese colony of Angola, but the start of World War II didn't allow this.

During World War II, the AP gained the importance of being the only company of a neutral country to be authorized to fly to a belligerent territory. Because of this, the AP become the only way of communication of the allies with North Africa. These flights were used by many refugees from Europe, who were looking for refuge in Tangier. The AP route from Lisbon to Casablanca became world-famous for the movie Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

The AP was absorbed by TAP in 1953.

Battle of Havana (1870)

The Battle of Havana on 9 November 1870 was a single ship action between the German gunboat Meteor and the French aviso Bouvet off the coast of Havana, Cuba during the Franco-Prussian War.

At 8 a.m. on November 7 the Meteor arrived in Havana harbour after leaving Nassau some days before. An hour later the French aviso Bouvet arrived from Martinique, steaming in from the opposite direction. The next day the French mail steamer SS Nouveau Monde left the harbour for Veracruz but was forced to return a few hours later due to fears that she would be captured by the Prussian gunboat. Later that day the Meteor's captain issued a formal challenge to the captain of the Bouvet to fight a battle the next day. The Bouvet accepted and steamed out of the harbour to wait for the Meteor. The Meteor had to wait 24 hours before it could meet the French vessel due to neutrality laws, since Spain was a neutral country during the conflict.

Upon the end of the 24-hour waiting period, the Meteor steamed out to meet the Bouvet which had been waiting 10 miles (16 km) off the border of the Cuban territorial sea. As soon as Meteor had passed the border line, Bouvet opened fire on the German gunboat. The battle came to an inconclusive end when the Bouvet, which had closed the range in an attempt to board the Meteor, suffered damage to a steam pipe which knocked out her propulsion and was forced to retreat into neutral waters under sail, whereupon she came under the protection of Spain once again. Neither ship was permanently disabled, mostly suffering damage to masts and rigging (the Bouvet's boilers and machinery remaining intact and functioning) and very few killed and injured on either side. The battle was not considered significant by commentators of the day.

Bombings of Switzerland in World War II

Bombings of Switzerland in World War II consisted of initially sporadic bombing events that became more frequent during the later stage of World War II.Switzerland was a neutral country during World War II, but adjacent to and at times almost completely surrounded by Axis, or Axis-occupied, countries. On several occasions, Allied bombing raids hit targets in Switzerland resulting in fatalities and property damage. Such events led to diplomatic exchanges. While Allied forces explained the causes of violations as navigation errors, equipment failure, weather conditions, and pilots' errors, in Switzerland fear was expressed that some neutrality violations were intended to exert pressure on the country to end its economic cooperation with Nazi Germany. In addition to bombing raids, air attacks by individual fighter planes strafed Swiss targets toward the end of the war. The Swiss military, in turn, attacked Allied aircraft overflying Switzerland with fighters and anti-aircraft cannons.

Carbon neutrality

Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal (often through carbon offsetting) or simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether (the transition to a "post-carbon economy"). It is used in the context of carbon dioxide-releasing processes associated with transportation, energy production, and industrial processes.

The best practice for organizations and individuals seeking carbon neutral status entails reducing and/or avoiding carbon emissions first so that only unavoidable emissions are offset or otherwise balanced out. Carbon neutral status can be achieved in two ways:

Balancing carbon dioxide emissions with carbon removal beyond natural processes, often through carbon offsetting, or the process of removing or sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make up for emissions elsewhere. Some carbon-neutral fuels work in much the same way by being made from carbon dioxide, either already offset or simply as part of natural processes, despite producing carbon emissions themselves. Much more extreme forms of carbon dioxide removal may also be used.

Simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether (the concept of the "post-carbon economy") through the use of renewable energy that does not produce carbon emissions at all (such as wind and solar power). Carbon projects and emissions trading are often used to reduce carbon emissions, and carbon dioxide can sometimes even be prevented from entering the atmosphere entirely (such as by carbon scrubbing).The concept may be extended to include other greenhouse gases measured in terms of their carbon dioxide equivalence. The phrase was the New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2006. The term "climate neutral" reflects the broader inclusiveness of other greenhouse gases in climate change, even if CO2 is the most abundant. The terms are used interchangeably throughout this article.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica ( (listen); Spanish: [ˈkosta ˈrika]; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: República de Costa Rica), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers (19,714 square miles). An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area.The sovereign state of Costa Rica is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. It's known for its long-standing and stable democracy, and for its highly educated workforce, most of whom speak English. The country spends roughly 6.9% of its budget (2016) on education, compared to a global average of 4.4%. Its economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. Many foreign manufacturing and services companies operate in Costa Rica's Free Trade Zones (FTZ) where they benefit from investment and tax incentives.Costa Rica was facing a market liquidity crisis in 2017 due to a growing debt and budget deficit. By August 2017, the Treasury was having difficulty paying its obligations. Other challenges facing the country in its attempts to improve the economy by increasing foreign investment include a poor infrastructure and a need to improve public sector efficiency.Costa Rica was sparsely inhabited by indigenous peoples before coming under Spanish rule in the 16th century. It remained a peripheral colony of the empire until independence as part of the First Mexican Empire, followed by membership in the United Provinces of Central America, from which it formally declared independence in 1847. Since then, Costa Rica has remained among the most stable, prosperous, and progressive nations in Latin America. Following the brief Costa Rican Civil War, it permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of only a few sovereign nations without a standing army.The country has consistently performed favorably in the Human Development Index (HDI), placing 69th in the world as of 2015, among the highest of any Latin American nation. It has also been cited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as having attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, with a better record on human development and inequality than the median of the region.Costa Rica also has progressive environmental policies. It is the only country to meet all five UNDP criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. It was ranked 42nd in the world, and third in the Americas, in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, and was twice ranked the best performing country in the New Economics Foundation's (NEF) Happy Planet Index, which measures environmental sustainability, and was identified by the NEF as the greenest country in the world in 2009. Costa Rica plans to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. By 2016, 98.1% of its electricity was generated from green sources particularly hydro, solar, geothermal and biomass.

Dereliction of duty

Dereliction of duty is a specific offense under United States Code Title 10, Section 892, Article 92 and applies to all branches of the US military. A service member who is derelict has willfully refused to perform his duties (or follow a given order) or has incapacitated himself in such a way that he cannot perform his duties. Such incapacitation includes the person falling asleep while on duty requiring wakefulness, his getting drunk or otherwise intoxicated and consequently being unable to perform his duties, shooting himself and thus being unable to perform any duty, or his vacating his post contrary to regulations. Article 92 also applies to service members whose acts or omissions rise to the level of criminally negligent behavior. The first such case charged occurred during World War II, when Army Air Force Lieutenants William Sincock and Theodore Balides were court-martialed for dereliction of duty when they mistakenly dropped bombs on Zürich, a city of Switzerland, which was a neutral country during that war. Both men were later acquitted.

Espionage in Norway during World War I

Norway was a neutral country during World War I, but the country was subject to extensive espionage from both sides in the conflict.

Foreign relations of Sweden

The foreign policy of Sweden is based on the premise that national security is best served by staying free of alliances in peacetime in order to remain a neutral country in the event of war. In 2002, Sweden revised its security doctrine. The security doctrine still states that "Sweden pursues a policy of non-participation in military alliances," but permits cooperation in response to threats against peace and security. The government also seeks to maintain Sweden's high standard of living. These two objectives require heavy expenditures for social welfare, defense spending at rates considered low by Western European standards (currently around 1.2% of GNP), and close attention to foreign trade opportunities and world economic cooperation.

Iceland in World War II

At the beginning of World War II, Iceland was a sovereign kingdom in personal union with Denmark, with King Christian X as head of state. Iceland officially remained neutral throughout World War II. However, the British invaded Iceland on 10 May 1940. On 7 July 1941, the defence of Iceland was transferred from Britain to the United States, which was still a neutral country until five months later. On 17 June 1944, Iceland dissolved its union with Denmark and the Danish monarchy and declared itself a republic, which remains to this day.

List of ambassadors of the United States to Portugal

This is a list of Ambassadors of the United States to Portugal.

Bilateral diplomatic relations between the United States and Portugal date from the earliest years of the United States. Following the Revolutionary War, Portugal was the first neutral country to recognize the United States. On February 21, 1791, President George Washington opened formal diplomatic relations, naming Col. David Humphreys as U.S. Minister Resident. Subsequent envoys were given the title Minister Plenipotentiary.

National Forum (Georgia)

The National Forum (Georgian: ეროვნული ფორუმი, erovnuli p'orumi) is a political party in Georgia established on December 15, 2006 by the former diplomat Kakha Shartava. He is the son of Zhiuli Shartava, a Georgian politician in Abkhazia, killed by the Abkhaz militias during the secessionist war in the region in 1993. Several veteran politicians such as Revaz Shavishvili, Irakli Melashvili and Gubaz Sanikidze also joined the party.

Party political council of the organizational members are: Kakhaber Shartava, Gubaz Sanikidze, Revaz Shavishvili, Irakli Melashvili, Nodar Javakhishvili and Irakli Gobejishvili. A leading Party member was economic expert Niko Orvelashvili who died on 15 January 2010.

The party advocates a parliamentary republic as a form of government in Georgia. Unlike most other Georgian political parties, it does not support Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO, and argues Georgia should be a "neutral country." The National Forum was a member of the United Opposition alliance which staged mass anti-government demonstrations in November 2007 and ran on an opposition ticket in the parliamentary election in May 2008. For the 2012 elections it was part of the Georgian Dream alliance that won the election against United National Movement. On April 3, 2016 National Forum left coalition after party convention, majority of members voted to leave Georgian Dream

Norwegian Armed Forces

The Norwegian Armed Forces (Norwegian: Forsvaret, "The Defence") is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Norway. It consists of four branches, the Norwegian Army, the Royal Norwegian Navy, which includes the Coast Guard, the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and the Home Guard, as well as several joint departments.

The military force in peace time is around 16,048 personnel including military and civilian staff, and around 63,318 in total with the current military personnel, conscripts and the Norwegian Home Guard in full mobilization.

An organised military was first assembled in Norway in the 9th century and was early focused around naval warfare. The army was created in 1628 as part of Denmark–Norway, followed by two centuries of regular wars. A Norwegian military was established in 1814, but the military did not see combat until the German occupation of Norway in 1940. Norway abandoned its position as a neutral country in 1949 to become a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The Cold War saw a large build-up of air stations and military bases, especially in Northern Norway. Since the 2000s, the military has transformed from a focus on defence from an invasion to a mobile force for international missions. Among European NATO members, the military expenditure of US$7.2 billion is the highest per capita.

Operation Pelikan

Operation Pelikan

(German: Unternehmen Pelikan), also known as Projekt 14, was a German plan for crippling the Panama Canal during World War II. In mid-late 1943 the Wehrmacht had completed preparations to haul two Ju 87 Stukas with folding wings on two U-boats to an unnamed Colombian island near the coast of Panama, reassemble the planes, arm them with "special bombs", and then send them to attack the Gatun Dam. After completing the mission, the pilots would fly to a neutral country and seek internment. However, Germany called off the plan, for unknown reasons, at the last minute. Rumors among the Germans who planned the sabotage were that it had been called off due to betrayal.

Most of these types of plans involved acts of sabotage using agents in place and/or landed by U-boat.

Outline of Switzerland

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Switzerland:

Switzerland – alpine country in Central Europe, located mostly in the Alps. Switzerland is the oldest neutral country in the world; it has not fought a foreign war since its neutrality was established by the Treaty of Paris in 1815. It is not a member of the European Union. Swiss icons include Switzerland's quality of life, its neutrality, the Swiss Alps, watches, yodeling, and chocolate.

Portuguese-class trawler

The Portuguese-class trawlers of World War II were naval trawlers, built in Portugal for the Royal Navy.

These vessels were built in several Portuguese yards, and offered by Portugal to the Royal Navy. This aid to the British war effort solicited protests by Nazi Germany, since, officially, Portugal was a neutral country.

After the war the ships were sold, most of them becoming mercantile vessels, some under the Portuguese flag. The former HMT Product went to the Royal Hellenic Navy.

Ruse de guerre

The French ruse de guerre, sometimes literally translated as ruse of war, is a non-uniform term; generally what is understood by "ruse of war" can be separated into two groups. The first classifies the phrase purely as an act of military deception against one's opponent; the second emphasizes acts against one's opponent by creative, clever, unorthodox means, sometimes involving force multipliers or superior knowledge. The term stratagem, from Ancient Greek strategema (στρατήγημα, "act of generalship") is also used in this sense.

Ruses de guerre are described from ancient to modern times, both in semi-mythical accounts such as the story of the Trojan Horse in Virgil's Aeneid, and in well-documented events such as the flying of the American flag by the RMS Lusitania in 1915 (whilst the United States was a neutral country) to deter attack by German submarines, and they also feature in fiction.

The term ruse de guerre is given legal meaning within the rules of war. Good faith is required, but at least 17 different types of ruse, including ambushes, false radio messages, the use of spies and the use of dummy guns, are considered legitimate as long as they do not involve treachery or perfidy. Landmines and similar traps can be considered perfidious under the rules in certain circumstances. Explicitly prohibited ruses under article 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 include improper use of a flag of truce or the military insignia of the enemy.

Scottish Court in the Netherlands

The Scottish court in the Netherlands was a special sitting of the High Court of Justiciary set up under Scots law in a former United States Air Force base called Camp Zeist in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, for the trial of two Libyans charged with 270 counts of murder in connection with the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on 21 December 1988. A school on the former base was converted into a judicial court for the trial.

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