Switzerland has decided to impose the same sanctions on Russia as the European Union but Cassis insisted Switzerland’s neutrality was not at stake.
However, he said Switzerland could not simply stand by in the “confrontation between democracy and barbarism”, and was prepared to take an economic hit.
“On February 24, the face of the world changed, and not in a good way. We must valiantly and tirelessly defend freedom and democracy. This has a price. A price that Switzerland is ready to assume”, he wrote in Le Temps newspaper.
“This war is driven by a devastating madness which shatters all the principles and values of our civilisation.”
While the there was no question of an economic crisis or a downturn for now, Cassis said the conflict would have an impact on the Swiss economy.
He said the country would have to cope with “sustained and significant inflation and rising energy prices”, while the Swiss franc currency would remain a safe haven, which will hit exports.
“There is no solution which, with a wave of a magic wand, would save Switzerland from the consequences resulting from the current situation”, he added.
Cassis said Switzerland will not send military support to Ukraine but neutrality could not mean indifference.
“Switzerland cannot tolerate this war without reacting,” he wrote.
“Russia has massively violated the prohibition of the use of force, a principle anchored in international law. By remaining inactive, Switzerland would have played the game of the aggressor.”