According to military expert, Austria’s neutrality is already “relaxed”


According to Slovenian military expert Jelena Juvan, the debate over Austrian neutrality in light of Finland and Sweden’s plans to join NATO raises the question of how neutral Austria actually still is. The expert considers Austria’s neutrality already “relaxed” not only through participation in UN blue helmet missions, but also through EU membership.

“When a country participates in peacekeeping missions, neutrality in the classical sense is already exceeded,” explains the head of the military sciences chair at the Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences.

“Neutrality not so strong anymore”
Indeed, the EU’s Common European Security and Defense Policy is a military aspect of the EU. “Now that the Austrian army is participating in several EU missions, neutrality is no longer so strong,” Juvan criticizes.

The public opinion is great
In Finland and Sweden, the “sense of a threat from Russia” led them to want to give up their neutrality, the expert said. What is astonishing is the turnaround in public opinion in both countries, where the majority of the population now supports NATO membership. In Finland, because of its long border with Russia, the fear of the neighbor is understandable, so it is all the more surprising that Sweden has also renounced its neutrality, which is part of its identity.

‘Instead of less NATO, there will eventually be more NATO’
If the background to the Russian attack on Ukraine is displeasure at NATO’s eastward expansion, Russia will achieve just the opposite. “Instead of less NATO, there will eventually be more NATO,” she said.

Source: Krone


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