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Switzerland keeps neutrality policy, barring weapons exports to Ukraine

Switzerland keeps neutrality policy, barring weapons exports to Ukraine

The Swiss government has decided to maintain its policy of neutrality, which prohibits the supply of ammunition and weapons made in Switzerland to Ukraine. This was reported on the Swiss government’s website.

At a meeting on March 10, the Swiss Federal Council discussed the issue of third-party re-export of military equipment and decided to continue with the current practice.

According to the report, the decision is based on the law on military equipment and on Switzerland’s long-standing humanitarian traditions as a neutral state.

“The Federal Council is committed to the values of Swiss neutrality and will continue to work to realize the benefits of neutrality,” the government stated.

The decision notes that the Federal Council “took note” of the parliamentary debate on the re-export of Swiss-made military equipment by third parties, but still reaffirms its position against allowing such re-exports.

“Switzerland’s tradition of neutrality does not mean indifference to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, so Switzerland has repeatedly and strongly condemned this aggression and demanded a cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the entire territory of Ukraine. Switzerland also supports the EU,” the statement said.

The government emphasized that over the past year, Switzerland has received requests for re-exports from Germany, Denmark, and Spain, all of which were rejected.

However, the supply of military equipment to European defense companies remains possible, as these exports do not violate the law on neutrality.

Earlier, Switzerland refused to authorize the supply of Gepard anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine.

On January 11, 2023, Madrid announced that Switzerland was vetoing certain types of weapons that Spain would like to supply to Ukraine.

On January 24, it was reported that Switzerland had allegedly decided to stop blocking arms supplies to Ukraine and would allow European countries to transfer Swiss-made weapons to Kyiv. A bill was introduced in the Swiss parliament that opens the possibility for Germany, Spain, and Denmark to transfer Swiss-made ammunition to Ukraine, and also allows the Swiss army to transfer Leopard tanks to Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, which are subject to write-off, instead of the tanks that these countries plan to transfer to the Ukrainian army.

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