Neutral Countries List
How do you tell if a neutral country is truly neutral? The short answer is you can’t – but the actions (or inaction) of neutral countries speak louder than words. Although all the countries in our list claim neutrality, the five neutral European Union states share a common foreign policy which includes mutual responsibilities and obligations so their neutrality requires special exceptions and remains an ongoing internal EU matter of debate.
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|Neutral Countries||Since||Population||ISO Code||EU State||NAM member||Neutrality Status & Key Facts|
|Austria||1955||8,726,000||AT||Yes||No||Austria declared neutrality on 26 October 1955 which is now part of the part of the Constitution of Austria. Austria has its own military like Switzerland.|
|Cambodia||1993||15,000,000||KH||Yes||Cambodia’s neutrality is disputed. Cambodia has vowed not to join any military alliance “not in conformity with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations” or to allow the basing of foreign military forces on its territory “as long as its security is not threatened.” In 2017 Prak Sokhon the Cambodian Foreign Affairs minister said “We will stay neutral and unaligned… Non-alliance does not bring harm to us… We have good relations with the United States and we have good relations with China, but are not allied to China or pro-China.”|
|Costa Rica||1949||4,900,000||CR||Observer||Costa Rica hasn’t had a standing army since 1949 but does maintain a limited “Public Force” to maintain internal security. Costa Rica’s neutrality was ratified by law in 2014.|
|Finland||1995||5,500,000||FI||Yes||No||Finland’s military doctrine is to maintain a credible independent defense along with a desire to remain outside international conflicts. There are no international pledges for its neutrality.|
|Ghana||2012||26,000,000||GH||Yes||Ghana has been a member of the Non-Aligned Movement since 1961. In 2012, following the death of President John Atta Mills, the government implemented a closed-neutral policy.|
|Ireland||1937||4,600,000||IE||Yes||No||Ireland pursued a policy of neutrality during WWII but covertly supported the allies. Ireland declined an invitation to join NATO in 1949. Ireland joined the EU in 1973 but was granted special status so it can remain non-aligned.|
|Japan||1947||127,110,000||JP||No||Following its defeat in WWII the USA imposed Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution in 1947 which renounced Japan’s sovereign right of belligerency. Japan maintains its own defensive military forces and has a bi-lateral alliance with the USA.|
|Liechtenstein||1868||37000||LI||No||Liechtenstein disbanded its army in 1868 because it was too costly. Liechtenstein remained neutral during WWII. Defense is informally provided by Austria and Switzerland.|
|Malta||1980||500,000||MT||Yes||No||In 1987 Malta added a neutrality clause to its Constitution. Malta was a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) between 1973 and 2004 when Malta joined the EU and Malta’s neutrality has been a topic of debate ever since.|
|Mexico||1939||122,000,000||MX||Observer||Mexico supported the allies during WWII and has ignored it’s historical policy on neutrality on occasions since then.|
|Moldova||1994||3,600,000||MD||No||Declared independence in 1991 after fall of the Soviet Union. Permanent neutrality is written into article 11 of their 1994 constitution.|
|Mongolia||2015||3,081,700||MN||Yes||Neutral during WWI 1914-1918. Declared neutrality in speech at the 70th UN General Assembly.|
|Panama||1989||3,900,000||PA||Yes||A treaty guarantees the neutrality of the Panama Canal.|
|Rwanda||2009||11,262,600||RW||Yes||Announced permanent neutrality in 2009 after joining the Commonwealth of Nations.|
|San Marino||1862||32000||SM||No||San Marino is a 24 square mile (61 km2) enclave within Italy which remained neutral during WWI and WWII.|
|Serbia||2007||7,041,600||RS||Observer||Serbia was a former member and founder of Yugoslavia. The Serbian National Assembly declared armed neutrality in 2007 and Serbia has observer status of the Non-Aligned Movement. Serbia opened EU accession negotiations in January 2014.|
|Singapore||1965||5,638,700||SG||Yes||Singapore has been a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) since 1970 and continues to pursue a policy of neutrality.|
|Sweden||1834||9,600,000||SE||Yes||No||In 1834 King Gustav XIV formally proclaimed Sweden’s neutrality. Traditionally Sweden maintained its neutral status during military conflicts. In 1941 Sweden allowed German forces to transit through Swedish territory to the Finnish front but at the same time protected refugees from the Nazis. There’s no international treaty.|
|Switzerland||1815||8,000,000||CH||No||Switzerland is the oldest neutral country in the world. Switzerland was guaranteed permanent neutrality at the Congress of Vienna on 20th December 1815 by Austria, France, England, Prussia and Russia.|
|Taiwan, Republic of China||2014||23,508,400||TW||No||Actively seeking peaceful engagement with mainland China, wants to act as a buffer between the USA, mainland China and Japan.|
|Turkmenistan||1995||5,200,000||TM||Yes||Turkmenistan was a member of the Soviet Union (Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic) until it declared its independence in 1991. In 1995 Turkmenistan declared permanent neutrality, which was formally recognized by the United Nations, and is included in the Turkmenistan constitution.|
|Ukraine||2010||46,000,000||UA||Observer||Following independence in 1991 Ukraine declared itself a neutral state. In 2008 Ukraine declared it would eventually join NATO which is opposed by Russia. The Ukraine has taken the first steps towards EU membership.|
|Vatican City||1929||800||VA||No||Vatican city an enclave within Rome in Italy. The Vatican city remained neutral during WWII and is the world’s smallest neutral state with an area of 110 acres (44 hectares). Vatican city has no defense forces but defense is informally provided by Italy.|
The Hottest Place in Hell is Reserved for Those Who Remain Neutral in Times of Great Moral ConflictMartin Luther King Jr.
Key to Map of Neutral Countries:
- Red: Traditionally neutral countries.
- Yellow: Countries with uncertain or disputed neutrality.
- Blue: EU Neutral countries.
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- ALL international country codes, including ISO, UN, IOC etc…
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