Connect with us

Stock Markets

Analysis-Neutral Switzerland leans closer to NATO in response to Russia

Published

on

5/5

© Reuters. Paelvi Pulli, head of security policy at the Swiss Defence Ministry attends an interview with Reuters in Bern, Switzerland May 4, 2022. Picture taken May 4, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

2/5

By John Revill

BERN (Reuters) – Switzerland’s fabled neutral status is about to face its biggest test in decades, with the defence ministry tilting closer to Western military powers in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The defence ministry is drawing up a report on security options that include joint military exercises with NATO countries and “backfilling” munitions, Paelvi Pulli, head of security policy at the Swiss defence ministry told Reuters.

The details of the policy options under discussion in the government have not been previously reported.

“Ultimately, there could be changes in the way neutrality is interpreted,” Pulli said in an interview last week. On a trip to Washington this week, Defence Minister Viola Amherd said Switzerland should work more closely with the U.S.-led military alliance, but not join it, Swiss media reported.

Neutrality, which kept Switzerland out of both world wars during the 20th century, was not an objective in itself, but was intended to increase Swiss security, Pulli said.

Other options include high-level and regular meetings between Swiss and NATO commanders and politicians, she said.

Moving so much closer to the alliance would mark a departure from the carefully nurtured tradition of not taking sides that its supporters say helped Switzerland prosper peacefully and maintain a special role as intermediary, including during the West’s standoff with the Soviet Union.

The idea of full membership of NATO has been discussed, but whereas Sweden and Finland – countries that also have a history of neutrality – are on the verge of joining, Pulli said the report was unlikely to recommend Switzerland take that step.

The report is due to be completed by the end of September when it will go to the Swiss cabinet for consideration.

It will be submitted to parliament for discussion and serve as a basis for possible decisions on the future direction of Swiss security policy. The report itself will not be submitted to a vote.

The defence ministry will also contribute to a broader study being prepared by the foreign ministry. That project will look at the adoption of sanctions, weapons, munitions exports and the relationship with NATO from a neutrality perspective, the foreign ministry said.

UKRAINE REVIVES SWISS NEUTRALITY DEBATE

Switzerland nation has not fought in an international war since 1815, when it adopted neutrality at the Congress of Vienna which ended the French Revolutionary Wars.

The 1907 Hague Convention establishes Switzerland will not take part in international armed conflicts, favour warring parties with troops or armaments, or make its territory available to the warring sides.

Neutrality, included in the constitution, does allow Switzerland the right to self defence and scope on how to interpret the political aspects of the concept not covered by the legal definition.

It was last updated in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, to allow a foreign policy based on cooperation with other countries in areas like humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

The Ukraine conflict has revived the debate, now centered on the government’s decisions to impose sanctions on Russia but to stop short of allowing the re-export of Swiss-made ammunition to Ukraine.

“There is a lot of uneasiness that Switzerland cannot contribute more to help Ukraine,” Pulli said.

Backfilling – where Switzerland supplies munitions to other countries to replace those sent to Ukraine – is another potential measure, Pulli said, in a shift from the government’s policy until now, although direct supply is likely a step too far.

President Ignazio Cassis has ruled out arms deliveries to third countries in support of Ukraine, but, possibly showing a more expansive view of the issue, he has also said that neutrality is not a “dogma” and that failure to respond with sanctions “would have played into the hands of the aggressor.”

GROWING SUPPORT FOR NATO

Switzerland already has some ties to NATO, while last year it decided to buy Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) F-35A fighters which are being purchased or already used by some NATO members.

Switzerland “cannot join any alliance because of neutrality. But we can work together and the systems we are buying are a good basis for that,” defence minister Amherd told broadcaster SRF.

The measures under consideration would be a significant move closer for a country that did not join the United Nations until 2002 and produces many of its own weapons.

Vladimir Khokhlov, spokesman for the Russian embassy in Bern, said such measures would amount to a radical change of policy for Switzerland. Moscow would “not be able to ignore” an eventual renunciation of neutrality, which would have consequences, Khokhlov said. He did not provide further details.

The Swiss military favours greater cooperation with NATO as a way to strengthen national defence, while public opinion has undergone a sea-change since the Ukraine invasion.

More than half of respondents – 56% – supported increased ties with NATO, a recent poll found – well above the 37% average in recent years.

Support for actually joining the treaty remains a minority view, but has grown significantly. The April poll by Sotomo showed 33% of Swiss people supported joining the alliance, higher than the 21% long term view in a separate study by ETH university in Zurich.

“Clearly the Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed a lot of minds. This is seen an attack on our western democratic values,” said Michael Hermann of Sotomo.

Thierry Burkart, leader of the right-of-centre Liberal Democratic Party, part of the governing coalition, described a “seismic shift” in how people feel about neutrality.

Neutrality “has to be flexible,” he told Reuters.

“Before Ukraine, some people thought there would never be another conventional war in Europe,” he said, adding that some had advocated for disbanding the army. “The Ukraine conflict shows we cannot be complacent.”

Burkart said he supported higher military spending and a closer relationship with NATO, but not full membership.

However, Peter Keller, general secretary of the far right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) told Reuters a closer relationship with NATO was incompatible with neutrality.

The SVP is also part of the governing coalition and is the biggest party in the Swiss lower house of parliament.

“There is no reason to change this successful foreign policy maxim. It has brought peace and prosperity to the people,” Keller said.

The defence ministry disagrees. During her visit to Washington, Amherd said the framework of the neutrality law “allows us to work more closely together with NATO and also with our European partners,” Tagesanzeiger newspaper reported.

Stock Markets

Dow Futures Tick Lower After Wall Street Sell-off Intensifies

Published

on


© Reuters.

By Oliver Gray 

Investing.com – U.S. stock futures were trading lower during Wednesday’s evening deals, after major benchmark averages finished the regular session sharply lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its biggest loss since 2020 after retail earnings indicated rising inflation pressures weighing on corporate profits.

By 6:42pm ET (10:42pm GMT) Dow Jones Futures and S&P 500 Futures were each trading 0.1% lower while Nasdaq 100 Futures fell 0.2%.

In extended deals, Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) dipped 12.9% after results as the as the company forecasted a surprising decline in revenue for the current quarter. Q3 EPS came in at 87 cents versus 86 cents expected while revenue came in at $12.8 billion versus estimates of $13.34 billion.

Bath & Body Works Inc. (NYSE:BBWI) fell 6% after reporting, as the company forecasted lower-than-expected second-quarter earnings. Q1 EPS of 64 cents versus 53 cents expected on revenues of $1.45 billion versus $1.44 billion expected.

Synopsys Inc (NASDAQ:SNPS) gained 3.5% as the company reported Q2 EPS of $2.50 versus $2.37 expected on revenues of $1.28 billion versus estimates of $1.26 billion.

During Wednesday’s regular trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1,164.52 points, or 3.57%, to close at 14-month lows of 31,490.07 and posting its largest daily losses since June 2020. The S&P 500 traded 4.04% lower to 3,923.68 while the NASDAQ Composite dropped 4.73% to 11,418.15.

Among stocks, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) shares tumbled 24.9% Wednesday after the retailer reported first-quarter earnings that were much lower than Wall Street estimated due to rising costs for fuel and compensation.

Major tech companies were also hit amid the sell-off with Block Inc (NYSE:SQ) down 3.2%, Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) falling 7.2%, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) dipping 4.8% and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) down 5.6%.

On the bond markets, United States 10-Year rates were at 2.884%.

Continue Reading

Stock Markets

New York Times pauses return to office for workers

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The New York Times building is seen in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – The New York Times Co said on Wednesday it is pausing its plan to ask employees to return to office as COVID-19 cases rise in the United States.

Employees of the company, headquartered in New York City, were previously set to return to office in June.

The United States is averaging nearly 97,000 new cases a day, up from about 73,000 a week ago, according to a Reuters tally, with New York City raising its COVID-19 alert level to high on Tuesday.

“Based on the city’s guidance and the advice of our health experts, we are pausing the start of our Expected Phase of return to office until conditions improve,” the company said in a note sent to its staff.

The company also said it strongly recommends that employees wear masks in common areas at its facilities, including elevators, meeting rooms, restrooms and pantries, where social distancing is not possible

Continue Reading

Stock Markets

Hedge fund Melvin Capital tells investors it plans to shut down -letter

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

2/2

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(Reuters) – Hedge fund manager Gabe Plotkin, who boasted one of Wall Street’s best investing records, on Wednesday told investors that he is shutting down his firm, Melvin Capital, after it suffered billions of dollars in losses.

“The appropriate next step is to wind down the Funds by fully liquidating the Funds’ assets and accounts and returning cash to all investors,” Plotkin wrote in a letter reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday.

Melvin Capital had $7.8 billion in assets at the end of April and the fund had lost 23% since January, a person familiar with the fund’s finances said.

This year’s losses come on the heels of steep losses in 2021 when Melvin Capital ended the year down 39%. The firm bet that shares of GameStop (NYSE:GME) would tumble but was battered when retail investors took the other side and sent the stock surging.

The firm had $12.5 billion in assets at the start of 2021.

In the letter Plotkin said he had already raised a substantial amount of cash and cut the funds’ exposure.

A spokesman for Plotkin declined to comment.

At the end of the first quarter Melvin’s biggest investments included bets on Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE:LYV), Hilton Worldwide Holdings (NYSE:HLT), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG). Their stock prices have fallen sharply in the last weeks, sparking speculation that a hedge fund might be trying to unwind positions.

Plotkin was a star investor at Steven A. Cohen’s hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors and launched his own firm after SAC pleaded guilty to criminal insider trading charges. Melvin Capital quickly attracted attention and powerful investors and ended 2020, the year the pandemic began, with gains of 52.5%.

Continue Reading

News

Stock Markets15 mins ago

Dow Futures Tick Lower After Wall Street Sell-off Intensifies

© Reuters. By Oliver Gray  Investing.com – U.S. stock futures were trading lower during Wednesday’s evening deals, after major benchmark...

World15 mins ago

Biden presses companies on infant formula, FDA eyes more imports

4/4 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Empty shelves show a shortage of baby formula at CVS in San Antonio, Texas, U.S....

Stock Markets15 mins ago

New York Times pauses return to office for workers

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The New York Times building is seen in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon...

Stock Markets15 mins ago

Hedge fund Melvin Capital tells investors it plans to shut down -letter

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York,...

World15 mins ago

More Ukraine fighters surrendering in Mariupol, Russia says

© Reuters. Buses carrying service members of Ukrainian forces who have surrendered after weeks holed up at Azovstal steel works...

Economy15 mins ago

Exclusive-Japan Inc turns against central bank’s monetary stimulus, Reuters survey shows

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A businessman walks near the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, Feb. 15, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas...

Stock Markets45 mins ago

U.S. lodges third labor complaint in Mexico, on behalf of Panasonic workers

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced...

Cryptocurrency45 mins ago

Candidate supported by Bankman-Fried-linked PAC loses Oregon primary

Candidate supported by Bankman-Fried-linked PAC loses Oregon primary Andrea Salinas has won the Democratic primary election for the newly created...

Stock Markets45 mins ago

Cisco shares slump as China lockdowns, Ukraine crisis hit outlook

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Cisco Systems logo is seen as part of a display at the Microsoft Ignite technology...

Stock Markets46 mins ago

Biden invokes Defense Production Act to increase infant formula supply

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Empty shelves show a shortage of baby formula at CVS in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. May...

Economy1 hour ago

Brazil’s govt will maintain GDP outlook for 2022 and 2023 -sources

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Consumers shop at a weekly street market in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 2, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo...

Cryptocurrency1 hour ago

Socios fan tokens rally 40%+ after Chiliz rolls out mainnet upgrade and token burn plan

Socios fan tokens rally 40%+ after Chiliz rolls out mainnet upgrade and token burn plan In times of high stress...

Economic Indicators1 hour ago

JPMorgan cuts U.S. GDP estimates for 2022 and 2023

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Stacked containers are shown as ships unload their cargo at the Port of Los Angeles in...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

Plotkin’s Melvin Capital to Wind Down – Report

© Reuters Plotkin’s Melvin Capital to Wind Down – Report Gabe Plotkin’s Melvin Capital Management, a hedge fund that lost...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

Chevron, Schlumberger withdraw request for California carbon-capture permit

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Chevron Corp is seen in its booth at Gastech, the world’s biggest...

Economy1 hour ago

Factbox-U.S. companies offering abortion travel benefits

© Reuters. Signage is seen at an Amazon facility in Staten Island, New York City, U.S., April 24, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew...

Sports & General1 hour ago

New York state opens probe of social media platforms used by Buffalo shooting suspect

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Members of the Buffalo Police department work at the scene of a shooting at a...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Synopsys Shares Up 4% Following Q2 Beat, Upbeat Guidance

© Reuters. Synopsys Shares Up 4% Following Q2 Beat, Upbeat Guidance Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS) shares were trading more than 4% higher...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Under Armour CEO Frisk Steps Down After 5 Tumultuous Years

© Reuters. Under Armour CEO Frisk Steps Down After 5 Tumultuous Years Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE:UA), announced that Patrik Frisk...

Coronavirus2 hours ago

Democrats warn abortion, voting rights at stake in Pennsylvania governor’s race

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano speaks at a protest against the state’s extended stay-at-home order to...

Cryptocurrency2 hours ago

Was Terra’s UST cataclysm the canary in the algorithmic stablecoin coal mine?

Was Terra’s UST cataclysm the canary in the algorithmic stablecoin coal mine? The past week has not been an easy...

World2 hours ago

Massachusetts identifies first 2022 U.S. case of monkeypox infection

2/2 © Reuters. An electron microscopic (EM) image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virus particles as well as crescents and spherical...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

U.S. lodges labor complaint against Panasonic in Mexico

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced...

Cryptocurrency2 hours ago

Meta trademark filing hints at plans for crypto payments platform

Meta trademark filing hints at plans for crypto payments platform Social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)’s parent company, Meta, may be...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Cisco Shares Plunge 17% on Q3 Revenue Miss and Disappointing Outlook

Cisco Shares Plunge 17% on Q3 Revenue Miss and Disappointing Outlook Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares dropped around 17% after-hours Wednesday...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Cisco shares plunge after China lockdowns, Ukraine crisis hits outlook

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Cisco Systems logo is seen as part of a display at the Microsoft Ignite technology...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

NASA set for Boeing’s Starliner uncrewed space capsule test

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Atlas V rocket carrying Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule is seen after the launch to the...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Under Armour CEO Frisk to step down

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Under Armour clothing is seen for sale in a store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S.,...

World2 hours ago

Turkey’s Erdogan links Sweden, Finland NATO bid to return of ‘terrorists’

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan holds a news conference during the NATO summit at the Alliance’s headquarters...

Coronavirus2 hours ago

U.S. warns North Korea could greet Biden with nuclear, missile tests

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks next to what state media reports is...

Trending