BERN, June 2. /TASS/. Switzerland will not give up its neutral status which brought it global respect, President of the Swiss Federation Johann Schneider-Ammann told TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman in an exclusive interview.
Answering a question on whether Switzerland, which is not a member of NATO or the European Union, will maintain its neutrality in the future and whether they are any tendencies toward changing this principle, Schneider-Ammann said: "I think Switzerland will remain an independent, sovereign and neutral European country. This has been deeply rooted in us. Thanks to this, we have become successful and respected. There are no grounds to change anything in this regard."
He noted that neutrality should not be assessed as manifestation of "egoism." "We share concerns that exist in the world and in Europe," the president said adding that EU is important as a partner for Bern and that Switzerland "makes its solidarity contribution" to cooperation on the basis of existing agreements with EU. Along with this, Switzerland proceeds from the fact that "there is only an independent path," and citizens of the country "will protect it." "We are freedom-loving people, we will not exchange this for anything," Schneider-Ammann noted.
The president also reminded about the mission of good services that neutral Switzerland carries out in the sphere of diplomacy. "Dialogue should remain possible, and sides should be sat at the negotiations table. This requires patience, agility, power of persuasion," he said. Bern notes with satisfaction that such good services "are appreciated." "If by this, thanks to our neutrality, we manage to contribute to more peace, stability and welfare in the world, then we are very proud of it," Schneider-Ammann added noting that his country represents Russia’s interests in Georgia and vice versa.
Talking about the 725th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation this year, the president said: "The Swiss people have defended their freedom for the last 725 years. Our motto is to be independent, while being in the center of Europe, to be solidary but autonomous.".