Neutral country  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A neutral country is a state which is neutral towards belligerents in a specific war, or holds itself as permanently neutral in all future conflicts (including avoiding entering into military alliances such as NATO). As a type of non-combatant status, neutral nationals enjoy protection under the law of war from belligerent actions to a greater extent than other non-combatants such as enemy civilians and prisoners of war. The exact nature of neutrality can differ between the interpretations of various countries. Some, such as Costa Rica, have demilitarized; whereas Switzerland holds to "armed neutrality" in which it deters aggression with a sizeable military, while barring itself from foreign deployment. Not all neutral countries avoid any foreign deployment or alliances, however, as Austria, Ireland, Finland and Sweden have active UN peacekeeping forces and a political alliance within the European Union. Sweden is not a truly "neutral" country: the traditional Swedish policy is not to participate in military alliances, with the intention of staying neutral in the case of war. Immediately before World War II, the Nordic countries stated their neutrality, but Sweden changed its position to that of non-belligerent at the start of the Winter War.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Neutral country" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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