Neutral country: Wikis

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(Redirected to Neutrality (international relations) article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. 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. The concept of neutrality in war is narrowly defined and puts specific constraints on the neutral party in return for the internationally recognized right to remain neutral.

Neutralism or a "neutralist policy" is a foreign policy position wherein a state intends to remain neutral in future wars. Non-alignment is the implementation of neutralism by avoiding military alliances. 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.

Contents

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 its citizens,[7] but they may go abroad to enlist.[8] Belligerent armies' men and matériel 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 matériel,[12] although it need not prevent export of such matériel.[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]

List of neutral states

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Recognised as neutral

  • Austria (now a member of EU, see below): neutral country since 1955, to maintain external independence and inviolability of borders (expressly modeled after the Swiss neutrality).
  • Costa Rica: neutral country since 1949, after abolishing its military.
  • Finland (now EU): military doctrine of competent, "credible" independent defence, not depending on any outside support, and the desire to remain outside international conflicts. In 2006, Finland's neutrality was brought into question by President Matti Vanhanen in 2006 during the inauguration of the Finnish EU presidency.[18]
  • Ireland (now EU): a traditional policy of military neutrality defined as non-membership of mutual defence alliances.
  • Japan: constitutionally forbidden from participating in wars, but maintains heavily-armed "self-defense forces" and a military alliance
  • Liechtenstein: since its army was dissolved in 1868.
  • Malta (now EU): policy of neutrality since 1980, guaranteed in a treaty with Italy concluded in 1983
  • Sweden (now EU): has not fought a war since ending its involvement in the Napoleonic Wars in 1814 with a short war with Norway, making it the oldest neutral country in the world.
  • Switzerland: self-imposed, permanent, and armed, designed to ensure external security. Switzerland is the second oldest neutral country in the world; it has not fought a foreign war since its neutrality was established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
  • Turkmenistan: declared its permanent neutrality and had it formally recognised by the U.N. in 1995. [19]
  • Vatican City: 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.

Claim to be neutral

  • Cambodia: claimed neutrality 1955–1970, 1993 to the present day
  • Mexico: since 1939 [20]
  • Moldova: Article 11 of the 1994 Constitution proclaims "permanent neutrality"

Formerly neutral

Points of debate

European Union

The neutrality of some countries now in the European Union is under dispute, especially as the EU now operates a Common Foreign and Security Policy. This view was supported by the Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen, on July 5, 2006, while speaking to the European Parliament as Council President;

"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." [21]

Irish neutrality is similarly debated; the state's "traditional policy of military neutrality" is not defined in law, and referendums on the Treaty of Nice and on the Treaty of Lisbon were lost in part because of fears these would undermine Irish neutrality.

Neutrality to forestall invasion

Other countries may be more active on the international stage, while emphasising an intention to remain neutral in case of war close to the country. By such a declaration of intentions, the country hopes that all belligerents will count on the country's territory as off limits for the enemy, and hence unnecessary to waste resources on. The neutrality of Republic 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.[22] 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.[22] 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".[22]

Many countries made such declarations during World War II. Most, however, became occupied, and in the end only the states of Ireland, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (with Liechtenstein) remained neutral of the European countries closest to the war. Their fulfilment to the letter of the rules of neutrality have been questioned: Ireland supplied some important secret information to the Allies; for instance, the date of D-Day was decided on the basis of incoming Atlantic weather information secretly supplied to them by Ireland but kept from Germany. Also, German pilots who crash landed in Ireland were interned, whereas their Allied counterparts usually went "missing" close to the border. Sweden and Switzerland, as embedded within Nazi Germany and its occupied territory, similarly made some concessions to Nazi requests as well as to Allied requests. Sweden was also involved in intelligence operations with the Allies, including listening stations in Sweden and espionage in Germany, as well as secret military training of Norwegian soldiers in Sweden. Spain also pursued a policy of "non-alignment" and sent a volunteer combat division to aid the Nazi war effort.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Second Hague Convention, Section 5
  2. ^ Second Hague Convention, Section 13
  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. ^ Debates – Wednesday, 5 July 2006 – Presentation of the programme of the Finnish presidency (debate). http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20060705+ITEM-002+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN
  19. ^ "A/RES/50/80; U.N. General Assembly". http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/50/a50r080.htm. Retrieved 29 December 2009.  
  20. ^ http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/04/27/index.php?section=opinion&article=023a2pol
  21. ^ Presentation of the programme of the Finnish presidency (debate) 5 July 2006, European Parliament Strasbourg
  22. ^ a b c Marandici, Ion (2006). "Moldova's neutrality: what is at stake?" (MS Word). Lviv: IDIS-Viitorul and the Center for European Studies. http://www.viitorul.org/public/866/en/IonM%20-%20studiu_neutralitate__eng_.doc.  

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